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Vol. II No. 20 (180)

Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia

March 11, 2011

Philadelphia Daily Record

Saving Parkland

REMEMBER THE MURKY FUSS when Fox Chase Cancer Center attempted to acquire part of Burholme Park a few years back? Legislation now advancing in City Council would establish clear rules for alienating City parkland in the future. See story page 3.


Casey: House Should Pass No-Budget, No-Pay Bill

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US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.) wrote a column in yesterday’s Politico that urged House Speaker John Boehner (ROh.) to quickly pass a version of their Senate-passed bill that would prevent Congress and the President from being paid in the event of a government shutdown. They referred to a recent speech by Boehner in which he said it was our “moral responsibility” to avoid a government shutdown. “Now is the time for the speaker to show that he means what he says by bringing this important bill up for a vote in the House,” the Senators wrote. “While we may not agree on everything in this budget, lawmakers from both parties should agree on this: If we cannot fulfill our most basic responsibility to keep the government operating, we should not receive a paycheck. “It’s a little-known fact Members of Congress and the President are not treated the same as millions of other federal employees — because we’re paid through mandatory spending, rather than annual appropriations. In the event of a THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

government shutdown, we would be among the few to continue receiving paychecks. “It’s unfair that Members of Congress or the President would be paid while millions of other workers who serve the American people would see their paychecks cut off and have to struggle to pay their bills. “Our bill could fix this inequity. It would also go a step further, saying that lawmakers and the president should not be paid retroactively after a shutdown. The message could not be clearer: No budget, no pay.” Casey and Boxer said partisan deadlocks should not be permitted to bring essential government functions to a halt. “Social Security checks should not be delayed. Veterans’ benefits should not be disrupted. Passports should continue to be issued. Superfund sites should be cleaned. Oil wells should be inspected. Export licenses should be granted. All this would be threatened in a shutdown,” they affirmed.

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New Rules Would Make It Hard For City To Ditch Parkland Yesterday afternoon City Council’s Committee on Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs adopted Bill No. 110002, concerning the protection of parkland. The Bill, which contained a minor amendment, was voted out of committee for first reading at City Council’s session today. The leadership of Council Members Blondell Reynolds Brown (D) and Darrell Clarke (D), along with that of Mayor Michael Nutter, has laid the groundwork for this legislation. This Bill is the outgrowth of a broad-based reform initiative that has included robust dialogue between City Council, the Adminis-

tration, the Commission on Parks & Recreation, department staff, park and recreation advocates and the people of Philadelphia.

for instance, would bar any surrender of parkland unless it is replaced by an equal amount of new parkland in the same part of town.

The Philadelphia Parks Alliance has long advocated for the creation of guidelines concerning the protection and use of parkland and resources. This movement was given impetus by the attempt to alienate part of Burholme Park in Northeast Philadelphia a few years ago to make way for an expansion of the Fox Chase Cancer Center.

The Philadelphia Parks Alliance, which has been lobbying for this measure for years, thanked the members of the Commission on Parks and Recreation, specifically Debra Wolf Goldstein and Nancy Goldenberg, “for their enormous effort in creating an ordinance that reflects best practices while balancing the input, experience and concerns of citizens; government officials; the City’s Law Department; and key stakeholders.”

The proposed regulations contain strict conditions that any future alienation of public park property would have to face. One of them,

City Council Creates New Jobs Commission The loss of a job and the inability to find employment are devastating experiences for the individuals and their families, particularly at a time when the nation’s safety net is increasingly deteriorating. The unemployment rate in Philadelphia as of September 2010 was a staggering 10.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the unemployment rate in many of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods far exceeds even that level. 11 MARCH, 2011

To address this concern, Council voted for a Charter Amendment to establish a Jobs Commission. Councilman Darrell Clarke (D), a prime mover of the idea, said, “With the passage of this legislation, we will now have an expert body charged with examining best practices and methodologies, and with developing a comprehensive job creation strategy for Philadelphia.” The Commission would consist of THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

17 members. Nine would be appointed by the Mayor, eight by the Council President. Its first meeting would be within 60 days after its creation; thereafter, it would meet monthly. It would hold at least two public meetings in the Council and all its meetings must be open to the public. The Jobs Commission would determine how City government and |

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Mar. 12Nat’l Italian American PAC hosts Carnevale at Loews Hotel, 1200 Market St., 6 p.m-12 a.m. Honoring Risa Vetri Ferman, Marc Vetri, State Sen. Christine Tartaglione, and Richard Kryzanowski. Event co-chairs Donna M. Fluehr, Barbara Augustine, and Anthony DiSandro, Sr., Hon. Amato Berardi, PAC Chairman. Mar. 16Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown hosts Rising Stars VIP Reception at 5 p.m. in Mayor’s Reception Rm. & Conversation Hall, City Hall, 5 p.m. Honorees include Cynthia Figueroa, Rebecca Foley, Kat Houston, Cyrstal Jacobs, Nikki Johnson-Houston, Esq., Yian Liu, Florcy Morisset, Desiree Peterkin Bell, Rebecca Quinn-Wolf, Roslynn SampleGreene, Fon S. Wang, and Tia Watson. For info Katherine Gilmore (215) 686-3438. Mar. 17Judge Jimmy Lynn’s Salute to St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast at Plough & Stars, 2nd & Chestnut, 7:30-11 a.m. Tickets at door $25. Mar. 17Public Record invites all to join as it marks its 12th year in existence and its selection of Samuel Staten, Jr., as “Public Servant of the Year 2011” at Galdo’s Catering, 20th & Moyamensing Ave., 6-9 p.m. Expect a merry good time! Open bar, international buffet. For info John David (215) 755-2000 or (267) 259-6654. 4|

other public, quasi-public and nonprofit agencies can best marshal resources in a coordinated manner to create and preserve private-sector jobs for Philadelphians. It would look into job training; workforce development; economic development, including land acquisition and disposition; education; licensing, zoning, and other regulatory processes; and tax poli-

cies. The Commission would be empowered to hire an executive director and other staff. On or before Jan. 31, 2012, the new Commission must adopt a written report containing its findings, and providing specific recommendations.

Boyle Brothers Invited To White House St. Paddy’s Dinner The only elected brothers in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Kevin and Brendan Boyle(both D-Northeast), have received an invitation to join President Barack Obama for St. Patrick’s Day dinner at the White House. The White House’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner is held annually to recognize the bond between Ireland and the United States. “As a first-generation Irish American, I am extremely proud of this honor. Our father left Ireland 40 years ago for a better life in America,” said Kevin Boyle. “Although we grew up in the United States, our parents instilled in both of us a deep respect and knowledge of our Irish heritage.” “Receiving an invitation from the White House is always a deep honor for any American. ReceivTHE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

ing it for the St. Patrick’s Day dinner is a special honor,” said Brendan Boyle. “Ireland and the United States share a common history of kinship through the experiences of millions of Irish immigrants to America, a proven commitment to democracy and resistance to colonialism.” The annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner at the White House is attended regularly by the American President, the Irish Prime Minister and prominent Irish American elected officials.

Keller Votes Against Bill To Gut Sprinkler Safety State Rep. Bill Keller (D-S. Phila.) voted against legislation (HB 377) that would eliminate the buildingcode requirement that all new single and two-family homes have 11 MARCH, 2011


fire-suppression sprinklers to reduce fire-related death and property loss.

model construction codes for residential, commercial and military buildings.

Keller said the bill, introduced by State Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), would weaken publicsafety standards considered necessary by building-safety experts.

According to Keller, the Pennsylvania Builders Association mounted a huge effort in 2008 to establish a Uniform Construction Code Advisory Council to help head off the State’s adoption of building code-requirements that may be unfavorable to builders.

“This is first and foremost a public safety issue,” Keller said. “I know there will be a tragedy in the future because of the actions we took.” The sprinkler-code provision went into effect in January and is found in the 2009 International Codes. The Pennsylvania Construction Code Act (Act 45 of 1999) requires the Dept. of Labor & Industry to adopt the latest version of International Codes, which are revised every three years by the International Code Council. The council is a non-governmental national association that develops

“The law this legislature enacted 10 years ago to require sprinkler systems in college dormitories has saved lives,” Keller said. “Pennsylvania was the first in the nation in dormitory fire deaths before we took that action. There have been zero dormitory-fire deaths since. This is about public safety, pure and simple.” As the House debated the bill, Keller offered an amendment that would make it easier for local municipalities to enact their own ordi-

nances requiring automatic fire sprinkler systems on the local level if the code is not mandated on the state level. The amendment was defeated 73-125. He also asked lawmakers to vote to send the bill back to the House Labor and Industry Committee, of which he is Democratic chairman, to be fully vetted through public hearings because no hearings have been held on the issue. That request also was defeated, largely along party lines. Keller estimated the cost of a sprinkler-suppression system averages about $4,000, or 1.5% of the cost of an average home. In comparison, interior painting can cost over $7,000; cabinets and countertops over $12,000; and landscaping more than $7,000. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. Keller said he hopes the Senate will have better sense and defeat the bill.

Mayor Welcomes Major Company To Eastwick Site Mayor Michael A. Nutter, along with representatives of DB Schenker, an international transportation and logistics company, announced the company’s regional operations have been consolidated in Philadelphia in a previously unoccupied building at 3501 Island Avenue in the Eastwick section of Southwest Philadelphia. DB Schenker, which was previously located in two facilities in Delaware Co., transferred their 130 existing employees to the new location. The 84,000square-foot building, which was acquired by the 11 MARCH, 2011

Board of City Trusts and an affiliate of Stockton Real Estate Advisors, includes warehouse and office space and has the ability to have its capacity to be expanded by 45,000 square feet. “Philadelphia keeps attracting new businesses. DB Schenker will benefit from the city’s many competitive advantages, such as a world-class international airport and transportation infrastructure. Our city is a smart choice for logistics businesses and for any business, and I’d like to thank DB Schenker for working with the City and PIDC to

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relocate here,” said the Mayor. Tom Driscoll, DB Schenker Northeast Area Director added, “This new location, close to both the airport and major highways, allows us to ensure our customers’ expedited shipments meet their time-definite delivery schedules.” “We are proud to have collaborated with the Mayor’s office, the City of Philadelphia and PIDC to secure the tenancy of Schenker in 3501 Island Avenue. This transaction reflects Mayor Nutter’s emphasis on finding ways to strengthen the City through business ex-

pansion and job creation,” said James L. Paterno, founder of Stockton Real Estate Advisors and General Partner of the ownership entity. “Ideally located just off of Interstate 95, with easy access to I-76 and I476, 3501 Island Avenue is less than a mile from Philadelphia International Airport.” DB Schenker combines all transport and logistic activities of Deutsche Bahn employing over 91,000 staff spread across about 2,000 locations in about 130 countries. With turnover of over 15 billion Euros, it is a leading company worldwide.

Ship Philly First Markets The Port To The World More than a dozen companies involved in operating and servicing the Port of Philadelphia have joined together to form Ship Philly First, an organization created to exclusively promote the port and its service providers both domestically and internationally. Ship Philly First President Fred Sorbello said the organization’s mission is a simple one: promote the port, thereby increasing opportunities for everyone who does business along the Delaware River. “There are no dinners, no fundraisers, no golf outings,” said Sorbello, who is president of Mullica Hill Cold Storage. “It’s about getting down to business.” Sorbello said the idea for Ship First Philly developed about 18 months ago, when he and representatives from Holt Logistics approached the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority about ad6|

vertising the port in trade publications such as the Journal of Commerce. When they realized advertising dollars were scarce, the idea for a coalition was formed. “We need to look at the big picture,” Sorbello said, noting each company was only marketing itself individually. “We need to get the business here, and we need to work together to do it. After that, we can internally compete for it.” Ship Philly First formed in February with six members and quickly grew to 15, at which time new membership was temporarily halted. Each member contributed $2,500 to get the organization off the ground. Since then, Ship First Philly has hired a marketing firm to develop a Web site (www.shipphillyfirst.com), advertising and trade show promotional items. An advertisement promoting the Port ran in the Feb. 21 issue of the Journal of Commerce. THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

Thomas J. Holt Jr., President of Astro Holdings, Inc., which leases PAMT under a long-term concession with the PRPA, said the organization will tout as selling points the Port’s 300-year history, its status as one of the United States’ Strategic Military Ports, the upcoming dredging of the Delaware River, efforts to acquire and develop the Southport Marine Terminal, and its status as having the largest refrigerated capacity in the nation – a major advantage in the competition for handling and repacking perishable products. Holt said the creation of Ship Philly First represents a major philosophical change for entities at the port. “It used to be every man for himself,” he said. “But we’ve realized we’re all in this together, and there are many similarities. Most of our members are family-owned and operated and have been in business 11 MARCH, 2011


for generations. This is a gamechanger for the Delaware River business community. This is one united message from the major

port, warehousing and trucking providers in the region. That message is: We want your business here and we will work together to

ensure you receive unmatched service and attention. We all understand the needs of our clients.”

Art Museum’s Gala Will Face Union Protest The security officers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art will protest during the Young Friends Winter Gala this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (starting at the west/back Entrance, opposite the “Rocky Steps”) to draw attention to their effort to improve their wages, working conditions and museum safety. The 150 security officers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art protect the city’s most precious cultural heritage but earn poverty wages. Being a security officer is a physically demanding job. Standing on the hard marble floors for eight hours each day sends these workers home with chronic joint problems. These problems that are compounded by the lack of access to quality, affordable health care.

To add insult to injury, despite the fact these workers will insure the safety of some of our regions wealthiest socialites at the Young Friends Winter Gala tomorrow, these workers earn wages below the Federal Poverty Limit. The Young Friends Winter Gala tickets cost $225 to $275 each, or approximately a security officer’s entire week’s wages. In October 2009, the security officers formed the independent Philadelphia Security Officers Union, after all attempts to reform their employer, AlliedBarton, and their employers client, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, failed. “We’ve tried everything,” says Fabricio Rodriguez, union organizer. “Now it is time for AlliedBarton to go. The museum needs to get a new contractor.”

Commissioner Tartaglione Back On Duty After Successful Surgery City Commission Chairwoman Margaret Tartaglione underwent open-heart surgery at Hahnemann Hospital last week and is already back on duty, having attended a Commissioners and Judges meeting this past Wednesday. The necessity for the operation was uncovered after her surgeon had recommended a cauterization procedure. A blockage near the main aorta was discovered, “which 11 MARCH, 2011

surprised me and my doctor,” she said. Tartaglione was back on duty with the first meeting involving a Judicial Overseer Group and the Commissioners, less than a week after the surgery. Known as the “Iron Lady” by admirers and detractors alike, Tartaglione is seeking her tenth term in that office. Her campaign committee submitted over 7,500 signatures, the most of all THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

the over-100 candidates seeking to run for various offices in the May primary. Under her tenure, the City Commissioners have led their counterparts in other major cities with innovations. Her administration has been responsible for the adoption of near flawless electronic voting machines, doing away with the old, mechanically faulty machines which had long plagued |

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voters. Today voters receive educational voting programs, and the media are able to report almost immediate results. Her administration has seen the creation of a staff that seamlessly

continues to put into effect everchanging federal and state regulations. The public is able to visit on line and garner whatever information they need.

colleagues by the vitality I am now showing as a result of the operation. I have the full approval of my doctors to return to my full duties.”

Tartaglione said, “I surprised my

Benefit For Windermere Fire Victims Worked On Saturday, Mar. 5, the Walnut Hill Community Association, N’bba International, and Monumental Baptist Church held a Gospel Benefit Concert to raise money for the former Windermere Court residents who became displaced after a devastating fire swept through the apartment building at 4800 Walnut Street. Nearly $7,000 was raised thanks to the generosity of numerous individuals including Mayor Michael NutHORACE PATTERSON, president ter, State Sen. Vincent Hughes of Walnut Hill Committee Associa- (D-W. Phila.) and Councilwoman tion, has been a leader in relief ef- Jannie Blackwell (D). Major donaforts for victims of Windermere tions were also made by the Walfire. nut Hill Community Association

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and Garden Court Community Association. The Enterprise Center has been heavily involved in the relief efforts, opening its doors for meetings of the former Windermere Court residents, and providing space for clothing donation dropoff and distribution. For more information on how you can get involved in the relief effort, please contact Lorna Peterson at lpeterson@theenterprisecentercdc.org or (215) 895-4040.

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Local Drama Roundup: Ugly Has Merits; Avoid Lieutenant And Mah Jongg by Adam Taxin I enjoyed The Ugly One, at Walnut Street Theater’s Independence Studio on 3 through Sunday, more than many members of the audience seemed to. For the couple of days since I’ve seen it, I have been thinking about the not-actuallyclichéd manner in which the play makes a statement about our society’s ongoing overreaction to physical appearance. (In that sense, I was reminded somewhat of the 1971 movie The Last Picture Show.) The performance of Sarah Gliko as “Fanny” and other characters was particularly outstanding. With the disclaimer that I’m a single heterosexual male who ate more than his share of liver in recent days, it was a challenge to take my eyes off of her character(s). Her individual performance was the sexiest I’ve seen on stage in the Philadelphia area in the last year and a half. It was almost refreshing to talk to Gliko after the performance, and not only note her intelligence but observe in real life she is a goodlooking young woman who does not necessarily, when walking down the street, cause traffic accidents. On stage, she’s a different story (or stories). She made me 11 MARCH, 2011

SARAH GLIKO, Noah Mazaika and Ben Dibble in The Ugly One. Photo by Mark Garvin. think of a more-voluptuous version of the 1987 Whitesnake/Tawny Kitten “Here I Go Again” video – a testament to her acting as well as her costume(s), wig and makeup … and, beyond that, an excellent underscoring of the play’s main message. Gliko notes how the play’s setting is no accident: “This takes place in L.A. It really targets that whole scene, to which we, as actors, can relate. There is a lot of emphasis placed on looks when we’re auditioning. A thick skin comes in handy.” The actress also appreciates the THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

play throws the usual zeitgeist for a loop, gender-wise: “It’s interesting how, in the play, it’s actually a man’s looks being questioned, including by himself.” ---------Theater Exile’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore is a drama with comedic moments involving Irish political violence and a dead beloved cat. Performed at Rittenhouse Square’s Plays & Players Theater, it closes this Sunday. The play has a reasonable amount of clever dialogue, some surprises and solid acting. (Although The|

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atre Exile productions are occasionally a bit too on the “experimental” side for my tastes, the talent of the performers almost always is at a top level.) But too often, the play’s gratuitous violence, gore, profanity and basic nihilism struck me and apparently others as weak substitutes for enough ongoing drama to sustain a two-hour production or for the creation of characters about whom audience members actually should care. I was regularly amazed by the hilarity with which a few isolated let’s-call-them-hipsters in the crowd reacted to a few purely-gratuitous violent parts, especially given that most of the uproarious laughter in those cases seemed to be coming from females. I hope it isn’t too politically incor-

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rect to state, with St. Patrick’s Day now less than a week away, I’m getting a bit annoyed by the subtle unspoken but widespread mentality that something on stage immediately somehow becomes venerable if stated with an Irish accent. ---------Given the breaking news from Japan, Hawaii and who knows where else after today’s submission deadline, “disaster” may not be the most appropriate term with which to describe Men of Mah Jongg, an attempted comedy with dramatic aspects, running at Society Hill Playhouse through Sunday, Apr. 17. As an early riser, I am often tired, especially in the second act, of evening performances. However, I generally try to slap myself or otherwise make an effort

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to stay awake. In this case, I didn’t even bother. I covered Rocco Amato, one of the production’s performers, in an article in yesterday’s Daily Record. Although he has just too “paesano” a presence to be able to quite pull off the role of an aging Jew, his acting is actually charming and funny, and he offers a pleasant voice as the play’s only character who sings. Unfortunately, Arnold Kendall, who plays the main depressed-widower character “Sidney,” just does not have nearly enough stage presence or charisma to overcome the dull writing which is assigned to his leading role. Adam Taxin, a Center City attorney, can best be contacted via Facebook or at adamtaxin@gmail.com.

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Philadelphia Daily Record