Vol. II No. 173 (333)
Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia
November 1, 2011
Philadelphia Daily Record
OCCUPY PHILLY demonstrators called for a general strike tomorrow. At a news conference today, protestorsâ€™ spokespersons discussed details of their negotiations with Nutter Administration over their occupation of Dilworth Plaza. Story page 4
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Nov. 1Republican City Committee Fall Cocktail Party at Cannstatter Volksfest Verein, 9130 Academy Rd., 6-8 p.m. Tickets $125. For info Republican City Committee (215) 561-0650. Nov. 1Latinos for David Oh at Orlando’s Gallery, 433 W. Girard Ave. Contribution $100, $250 or $500. For info Eunice Lee (215) 561-2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Nov. 2OpportunitiesPA hosts fundraiser with National Homeless Youth Awareness Month at Univ. City Science Ctr., 3711 Market St., 5-9 p.m. Ticket $30. For info (215) 779-6827. Nov. 3State Rep. Louise Williams Bishop hosts Energy Workshop & Lunch at Calvary Baptist Ch., 6122 Haverford Ave., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. For info (215) 879-6625. Nov. 3Community Conversation with State Rep. Rosita Youngblood at Nicetown CDC, 4300 Germantown Ave., 6-8 p.m. Nov. 3Rally for Council candidate Al Taubenberger at Village of Cottage Green, Ashton & Willits Rds., 7 p.m. For info (267) 507-4282. Nov. 3Victim/Witness Services of South Phila., Inc. will host Beef & Beer fundraiser at EOM Hall, 138 Moore St. Ticket $25 in advance and $30 at door. For info Alison Sprague (215) 551-3360 or www.vwssp.org. Nov. 3Annual Fall Reception University City Republican Committee at Mill Creek Tavern, 42nd and Chester. Tickets $30. VIP Tickets $50. For info J. Matthew Wolfe, THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD
215-387-7300. Nov. 4State Rep. Jewell Williams’ 16th Ward Fish Fry at Lou & Choo’s, 21st & Hunting Pk. Ave., 5-9 p.m. Donation $10. For info Andrew Smith (215) 609-5876. Nov. 5St. Edmond Parish holds Back in the Day Celebration in honor of its centennial at church hall, 21st St. & Snyder Ave., 7-11 p.m. Buffet dinner, beverages, and sweet table. Dancing, a live DJ, door prizes, and lots more. Tickets $25. Open to all. For info (215) 334-3755. Nov. 5Party with a Purpose Cabaret for Quibila Divine at Dowling’s Palace, 1310 N. Broad St., 9 p.m.2 a.m. BYO food & drinks. Tickets $15. For info (267) 2940-6968. Nov. 6St. Malachy Parish Benefit Concert featuring Mick Moloney on mandolin and banjo and his friends in honor of Robert F. McGovern, at Church, 1429 N. 11th St., 2 p.m. Free parking in schoolyard. Reception follows. Free will offering. For info Mary Courtney (215) 7631305. Nov. 10Community Conversation with State Rep. Rosita Youngblood at Germantown YMCA, 5722 Greene St., 6-8 p.m. Nov. 12Unions Fight For Life hosts Fight Night for Phila. Veterans Multi Service & Education Ctr. at Armory starting at 7 p.m. at Penna. Armory, Southampton Rd. & Roosevelt Blvd. Tickets $20. For info Doug Baron (267) 718-2472, Rich Mancini (610) 505-0842, Eric Howarth (215) 290-1370, Tom Dooley (267) 246-5512 or Ed Shaw (267) 992-2600. 1 NOVEMBER, 2011
Toomey Presses To Tighten Screws On Syria U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) co-sponsored the bipartisan Syria Sanctions Act (S 1472), directing the president to implement stronger sanctions on Syria. The increased pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will send an important message that his tyrannical and violent actions will not be tolerated and will encourage a united international front against the Syrian regime. Sen. Toomey joined 11 Senators co-sponsoring this legislation. Under the Syria Accountability
and Lebanese Sovereignty Act of 2003, Congress instructed thenPresident Bush to impose two or more of six possible sanctions on the Syrian regime. The Syrian Sanctions Act directs the President to impose the following additional sanctions: • A ban on US businesses operating or investing in Syria • Restrictions on travel by Syrian diplomats in the United States • Blocking transactions of property in which the Syr-
ian government has an interest “For too long, President al-Assad has ruled over a tyrannical, undemocratic and abusive regime and he must be held accountable for his actions,” said the Senator. “The Syria Sanctions Act will increase pressure on President al-Assad and encourage regime change in Syria. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to stand with the Syrian people and pass this important legislation.”
Casey Pleased White House Endorsed His Drug-Shortage Bill US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) saw elements of his bipartisan proposal to address critical drug shortages through early warning notifications advanced as part of an Executive Order issued by President Barack Obama. As the President announced the administrative action, he gave full support to the Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act, legislation Casey introduced with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that would require pharmaceutical companies to notify the Food & Drug Administration of impending prescription-drug shortages so appropriate actions can be taken to 1 NOVEMBER, 2011
mitigate such shortages. Casey said, “Patients and hospitals in Pennsylvania and around the country have experienced an inexcusable shortage of life-saving drugs, and I am pleased that the legislation I have been pushing is part of the strategy announced today.” The Preserving Access to LifeSaving Medications Act would give the FDA the ability to require early notification from pharmaceutical companies when a factor arises that may result in a shortage. These factors may include changes made to raw material supTHE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD
plies, adjustments to manufacturer production capabilities, and certain business decisions such as mergers, withdrawals, or changes in output. The bill would also direct the FDA to provide up-to-date public notification of any actual shortage situation and the actions the agency would take to address them. The FDA has prevented 99 drug shortages so far this year due to voluntary early notifications from companies, up from 38 in 2010. FDA officials have said that the rise in preventions is due to increased pressure from the Senators and other Members of Congress.
Congressman Brady Receives SHARE Award CONGRESSMAN BOB BRADY (D- Phila.) is presented SHARE Vision Award as the SHARE Food Program celebrated its 25th anniversary. Congressman was being honored by Executive Director Steveanna Wynne, left, and President Mary Beyer for protecting funding for food banks and cupboards that serve as safety nets for elderly and unemployed.
Occupy Philadelphia Calls For Strike, Reveals Dealings With City Occupy Philadelphia held a press conference at noon today near the general-assembly stage at Dilworth Plaza. Its spokesmen clarified the written exchange between Occupy Philly and Philadelphia City government. On Oct. 30, members of Occupy Philadelphia met with Mayor Michael Nutter and his staff in an effort to foster dialogue between the City and protesters. The protestors also endorsed a general strike to take place tomorrow. The strike is called for Wednesday in solidarity with Occupy Oakland and Scott Olsen, the Iraq War veteran shot in the head during a violent police attack against Occupy Oakland last week. Olsen remains hospitalized with a fractured skull. 4|
The general strike may not cripple Center City commerce, however, as it is scheduled to last for only 99 minutes. Veterans and service members in uniform will lead a solidarity march from City Hall. Below is the letter released by Occupy Philadelphia discussing its negotiations with the Nutter Administration over issues stemming from the protest’s occupation of Dilworth Plaza. “Greetings from Occupy Philly! “Trumpets of change are being heard loudly all around the world. Our silence has been broken by the strength of solidarity and nonviolence. Two weeks of protesting, marching, and occupying have left THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD
our City of Brotherly Love buzzing with questions: Who are these protesters? What do they want? Please allow us to introduce ourselves. We are people first, diverse in belief and background, crushed beneath the burden of economic injustice. We are appalled by the greed of banks and corporations that steal wealth without regard. We are forced from the voting booth into the streets by the repeated failures of elected officials to represent our interests. The people have been promised change, and while patience is a virtue, we are wearing thin. We are working to make real the great dream of this city - the promise of freedom and democracy. “Philadelphia today is the poorest 1 NOVEMBER, 2011
big city in the entire US, with over a quarter of the population living in poverty. Our systems of education, housing, and health care are failing. Many of us are trapped beneath mountains of student debt. We are struggling to provide decent lives for our families. We gather to address problems that can no longer be ignored. Our occupation shines, though faced with internal challenges, as a community where all are welcome to share, learn, and discuss the great issues that affect us. Some of us are homeless, and have been sleeping on Philly’s cold concrete for years. Others have voluntarily left the comforts of our homes. Some stop by between classes and working multiple jobs. Many are unemployed and can’t find work, but all of us have found a home and a place within the Occupy community. Meals are served three times a day by the food committee. Children play with their parents in the family zone, and creativity flows from drum to paintbrush in the art area. Critical discussion and compassionate action are alive throughout this space.
the residents of Philadelphia and City Hall. “We may request a recorded meeting with City leaders soon in a neutral location. Please understand that lines of communication will not be instantaneous. We are practicing direct democracy, and decisions that affect us all, must be carefully considered, debated, and decided on by all. We believe we are operating in a manner consistent with the purpose for which City Hall itself was designed: addressing the needs of the people of Philadelphia, finding solutions, and taking action. The City has cited some nuisances around our encampment. In terms of public urination, we strictly
condemn that behavior. This problem could be solved easily by granting access to the City Hall public restrooms. Regarding graffiti, volunteers have scrubbed off all of the marker. We share the City’s concerns about fire hazards and are contacting the fire union to provide us with training. We can monitor our own safety. Our technical experts consistently check electrical equipment, especially in our tech tent. We are acquiring fire extinguishers, have agreed to no open flames, and our safety team is constantly patrolling the grounds. In terms of the pallet structures, lovingly dubbed the City Hall Row Homes, we have determined they are not a fire hazard. They are occupied by disabled homeless peo-
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“City officials recently delivered us a letter through our legal team. The letter named a number of concerns, which we will publicly address here. First, we would like to thank City officials for setting a national example in support of free speech, and for allowing us to exercise our Constitutional rights to assemble peacefully and seek redress for grievances. We appreciate the City’s invitation to meet with our group. We welcome open lines of communication between 1 NOVEMBER, 2011
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ple. When the City provides housing for the thousands of homeless in the city, we will remove the structures. Fire safety is important, therefore it is startling that City officials have closed fire stations and enforced rolling brownouts throughout the city – choices which directly led to the deaths of at least three children. “Police overtime costs are mounting. We will remind the City that we are nonviolent and there have been no incidents to warrant such heavy police presence. We are not fond of the undercover agents sent to profile activists. Being committed to transparency, we respectfully ask that law-enforcement agents abstain from the use of hidden cameras, CC-TV cameras, morning patrols, youth curfews, and plainclothes detectives. Please understand we have our own internal security. If City officials or anyone else would like to watch us, we suggest they visit us in person or view our livestream online at [www.phillyoccupation.org]. We suggest these law-enforcement funds be allocated for better use elsewhere, such as education. Pennsylvania has suffered budget cuts of over $600 million to education, while that money has been redirected to build three massive new prisons in the state. Philly has
the highest incarceration rate in the entire country, disproportionately locking up people of color. We say fund education, not mass incarceration. “Finally, let us address the most critical issue, our end date. When our legal team submitted a permit application there was clearly no stipulated end date. However, when our permit was issued, to our surprise, it stated that our end would coincide with new construction at City Hall in November. Both the application and permit are available online for all to see. “In the poorest big city in the country, we believe that it is morally bankrupt to consider spending $50 million on the redevelopment of Dilworth Plaza. Who made that decision? To whom are Paul Levy and his Center City District accountable? We believe that money can be better spent on education, healthcare, and housing for the many in this city who are desperately in need. The people of Philadelphia did not vote for an ice-skating rink and more coffee shops. We refuse to allow the federal government, unaccountable local institutions, and the wealthiest 1% to privatize our city’s public spaces and control decisions
that affect us all. We hope to discuss this matter with union workers whose jobs are affected by this project. We support workers’ rights, and condemn the city’s record of attacking workers. Union workers are within our ranks, and we know it is critical to have their input, participation, and support before finalizing our decision about whether to relocate. “We call on the people of Philadelphia to unite for change. We invite workers, students, the poor, the disappearing middle class, and all people of conscience. As residents of the historical birthplace of free speech, liberty, and democracy, we believe that we have a moral and social obligation to make this city finally live up to its noble creed. Like those peaceful demonstrators who stood in Tahrir Square, like those who marched in Montgomery, Ala., like those struggling tirelessly worldwide, we know that change does not come easily, but requires sacrifice. It’s not enough to talk, it’s time to be courageous in our actions. Together we can win. We are the 99%. Join us and let freedom ring! “Love, “Occupy Philly”
LWV Knocks Redistricting Process The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania has condemned Pennsylvania redistricting methods because it has not been open to public review and comment. Yesterday afternoon, the League re6|
leased the following statement: “Today’s meeting of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission clearly demonstrates what is wrong with Pennsylvania’s redisTHE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD
tricting process. It is an insider’s game in which the power belongs to a few politicians. After months of delay, a proposed plan was adopted which some members of the Commission, much less the 1 NOVEMBER, 2011
voting public, had not seen until shortly before the meeting was convened. Only one hearing for public comment has been scheduled. “The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania calls upon the Chairman to immediately schedule at
least five public hearings in different regions of the state so that local citizens have an opportunity to comment. We will study the released redistricting plan to see how it meets our criteria for population equality, compactness, contiguousness and minimizing dividing governmental entities like
municipalities, wards, and election districts. “We will reserve our comments until we have time to review the plan in detail. To see concerns about existing districts, see comments posted on our website http://www.fairshapepa.org.”
PFT Leader Presses Washington For Jobs Act Philadelphia Federation of Teachers General VP Arlene Kempin on Tuesday joined President Obama and other supporters of the American Jobs Act at a White House meeting to discuss the importance of the legislation, which would provide the School District of Philadelphia with more than $395 million to modernize and repair its school buildings. Kempin and the PFT have actively
promoted the jobs act in Philadelphia in meetings with educators and district officials, and have joined elected leaders and community leaders for tours of school buildings that are in desperate need of attention. The jobs act would allow Pennsylvania to repair nearly 1,400 public schools, create more than 12,000 construction jobs and put more than 10,000 teachers back in the state’s classrooms.
“In Philadelphia, we have 26 school buildings that are more than 100 years old, so we wholeheartedly agree with President Obama: Our students can’t wait for Congress to stop dragging its feet on the jobs act,” said Kempin. “Philadelphia needs more teachers in our classrooms and better facilities for our children. The jobs act is the right solution for our kids and our communities.”
Kitchen Brings Info To Vets STATE SEN. SHIRLEY KITCHEN held a Veterans Information Seminar for veterans on Oct. 29 at Phila. VA Medical Center. Free seminar featured exhibitors, guest speakers, resources for employment, health, Social Security and more. “We owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the men and women who served in our military, and there are many programs and services that are available especially to them,” Kitchen said. Pictured with Kitchen is Joseph M. Dalpiaz, director of VA Medical Center. Photo by Martin Regusters, Leaping Lion Photography
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Farnese Holds Senior Expo
STATE SEN. LARRY FARNESE held his annual Senior Expo at Fels S. Phila. Community Center on Oct. 27. Almost 200 area seniors attended free event. They had opportunity to talk to Senator about his new initiatives, learn latest news from Harrisburg, and take advantage of programs from public and private service providers and State and local government agencies. Photo by Cameron Kline
LIHEAP Is Available, Starting Today The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which opens for applications on November 1, has had its funding reduced by 50% this year. As a result, as grants are first-come, first-served, PGW advises customers to submit their LIHEAP applications now. Customers can receive as much as $1,000 for heating bills. A federally funded block grant program implemented at the state level, LIHEAP assists low income customers with their winter heating costs. Successful PGW applicants have their grants applied directly to their gas bill. 8|
PGW urges customers to visit www.pgworks.com/LIHEAP or one of the company’s customer service centers to apply before the grant money runs out. In an effort to increase the number of families who apply for LIHEAP assistance, PGW is also conducting outreach to neighborhood organizations, churches, elected officials, and other community leaders to educate the community and support eligible households in applying for LIHEAP. “Each year, approximately 150,000 families in Philadelphia THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD
are eligible for LIHEAP,” said Dan Murray, PGW’s VP of customer affairs. “With federal funds so limited this year, we want customers to know that PGW will help with their applications, but it is important that they act soon, before funds run out.” Applicants for LIHEAP assistance must meet the new 2011-2012 eligibility requirements, which means they must have a household income of less than 150% of the Federal poverty level (as shown in the table below). The LIHEAP program ends on Mar. 31, 2012.
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EPA Settles Case Alleging PCB At Center City Office Building The US Environmental Protection Agency today announced that SSH Management, LLC and 1500 Walnut Enterprises, LLC have signed a consent agreement with EPA resolving alleged violations of federal regulations for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in an office building located at 1500 Walnut Street. SSH Management, the manager of the office building, and 1500 Walnut Enterprises, the building’s owner, have agreed to pay a civil penalty of $20,000 and spend $38,600 on a public-health environmental project involving the removal and proper disposal of a 191-gallon PCB transformer in the
building’s basement. The consent agreement resolves alleged Toxic Substances Control Act regulatory violations discovered when EPA inspectors conducted a compliance evaluation inspection at the building on May 6, 2009. The alleged violations include storage of combustible materials within each of two PCB transformer enclosures; failure to prepare and maintain annual visual inspection and maintenance history records for three PCB transformers; and failure to develop and maintain annual written document logs of the PCBs located onsite for 2006, 2007 and 2008.
PCBs, a probable human carcinogen, were commonly used as a nonflammable coolant for transformers and other electrical equipment until the 1970s, when Congress strictly limited the manufacture and use of this toxic substance. The companies first realized they were not following federal requirements just prior to the 2009 inspection and immediately took steps to come into compliance. The two companies cooperated fully with EPA during the investigation and have certified that the building is now in compliance with applicable PCB regulations.
Mayor To Temple: Go Big East! Mayor Michael A. Nutter issued a statement regarding a letter sent to John Marinatto, Commissioner of The Big East Conference, to include Temple University in the conference for all sports. There are currently 16 Big East member schools including Villanova University from the Greater Philadel-
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phia region. “Philadelphia is an enthusiastic sports town at all levels and the city’s college sports rivalries are legendary. I would like to encourage The Big East Conference to consider Temple University as potential future member of the Con-
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ference. Temple has a tremendous commitment to athletics, academics and the city’s North Broad corridor. Our city is extremely proud of this uniquely Philadelphia institution, and the university would be a worthy addition and would bring new opportunities and excitement to the league.”
Philadelphia Daily Record