Vol. III No. 93 (459)
Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia
June 1, 2012
Philadelphia Daily Record
WARNINGS ARE OUT deer-tick population is surging to epic levels this spring. Lyme disease is a serious risk – and Southeastern Penna.’s backyards have some of the highest infection rates in USA. Story below.
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Jun.2- State Rep. Cherelle Parker sponsors legal workshop on Your Right to Know at Finley Recreation Ctr., 7701 Mansfield Ave. For info (215) 242-7300. Jun. 3Italian National Day, La Festa Della Repubblica, in S. Phila. on E. Passyunk Ave. between Mifflin and Moore Sts., 12-6 p.m. Rain or shine. For info (215) 334-8882. Jun. 3Congregations of Shaare Shamayim marks 50th anniversary at 9768 Verree Rd. Event will honor David L. Cohen, Exec. VP, Comcast, with Highest Honor Award (Kol Hakavod) for his service, especially in the Jewish community. Honorary Co-chairs are Gov. Ed Rendell and Hon. Jonathan Saidel. Entertainment by “Broadway Sings”. Event starts at 2:30 p.m. For ticket info and to place ad in Souvenir Commemorative Journal (215-6771600) or Dr. Ruth Horwitz, Tribute Committee (215) 9131991. June 5Phila. Republican Happy Hour at Paddey Whacks, 1509 South St. hosted by 5th, 8th and Philly Republicans of Color first Tuesday of every
molnth 6 to 9 p.m. Joe DeFelice, State GOP Director, guest speaker. Jun. 9Republican State Senatorial candidate Mike Tomlinson fujndrasier at CHickie and Petes, 11000 Roosevelt Blvd. Tickets at door $40, two for $75. For info contact Kathny Lombarfdi, 215-519-7553 or kimb157@comcast,eet, Jun. 10St. Edmond’s Parish Centennial Dinner at Penn’s Landing Caterers, 1301 S. Columbus Blvd., 2-6 p.m. Ticket $65 with a cash bar. For info (215) 334-3755. Jun. 14Fundraiser for Councilwoman Cindy Bass at Tavern 17, Radisson Warwick Hotel, 220 S. 17th St., 5-7 p.m. Ticket levels $50 to $1,000. RSVP by Jun. 7 to Fran Fattah at RSVP@CindyBass.com or (215) 370-9883. Jun. 15-16-7- Annual St. Maron Church Lebanese Festival on Ellsworth St. between 10th and 11th. Friday from 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. Admission free. All welcome. Authentic Middle East cuisine and entertainment.
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To Cope With Lyme Disease, Casey Calls For The Feds US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) is urging the Centers for Disease Control to help Pennsylvania tackle the problem of Lyme disease as reports indicate a warm winter and spring have increased populations of ticks, which spread the infection. “Lyme disease is a threat in every corner of Pennsylvania, and residents need to know that the CDC is doing everything in its power to tackle the increase in tick population the warm weather has caused,” said the Senator. “Ticks transmit a host of other illnesses in addition to Lyme disease, so it is
essential that Pennsylvanians are taking precautions to protect themselves and their families this summer.” According to the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health, between 3,000 and 5,000 cases are confirmed each year, making it the fourth-most commonly reported infectious disease in the state. Lyme disease poses a significant threat to public health, leading to serious, chronic and debilitating effects if it is not properly diagnosed and treated.
State Renews Water Plan For Delaware River Pennsylvania has signed a one-year renewal of an agreement governing the management of water in the Delaware River, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection announced today.
Secretary Mike Krancer said. “This extension will allow all of the partners to work together this year to find longer-term solutions to the flow issues on the Delaware River.”
The renewal of the flexible flow management program, which was also signed by fellow parties Delaware, New Jersey, New York and New York City, is effective today, Jun. 1.
The agreement allows for the occasional release of large volumes of cold water from reservoirs in New York to improve fishery habitats and ecology downstream as well as provide a balance in water supply throughout the states during drought conditions. The reservoirs provide drinking water for millions of residents in the four states.
Pennsylvania is a party to the 1954 US Supreme Court decree that established an equitable alloca‐ tion of water use under federal common law. “This agreement will ensure that the continual and steady flow of water in the Delaware River protects Philadelphia’s water supply from salt water, which can flow in from the Atlantic Ocean,” DEP
The agreement also calls on New York to store less water in some of the reservoirs during most of the year, creating greater storage capacity during storm events to help reduce flooding downstream.
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Daily Waffles From Joe Sbaraglia (The Waffleman) COAL BINS - Do not confuse this coal bin with the water inlet. This, the genuine coal bin, was a portion of the cellar where coal was stored until used. The coal was used for the house heater. It had wooden sides and a door to allow access to the coal. It was near the heater so that the coal could be
shoveled into the house heater, from this access door. It also had to be near a cellar window. The truck's coal chute had to be passed through the window to deliver the coal into the coal bin. COAL TRUCKS - delivered large amounts of coal to homes.
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When the coal truck arrived at the home needing a coal delivery, the homeowner would open a basement the window which gave access to the coal bin. A coal chute was attached to the release gate by the delivery man. The chute was extended into the window and directed into the coal bin. Once all was readied, the body of the truck was tilted up and the coal release gate on the truck was opened. This allowed gravity to cause the coal to slide noisily down the chute into the coal bin. The delivery man, with a shovel, helped the coal down the chute as required, until the coal delivery was completed. The coal truck carried about three tons of coal. The usual delivery was one ton of coal per household. COAL WAGONS - were horsedrawn wagons from which bags of coal were purchased. Sold in various weights; five, ten and twenty-five pound bags. The bags were weighed on a balance-beam scale. The bag of coal was then carried into the house to be used in the cooking stove or house heater. Coal was only bought in this manner to tide you over until the regular coal delivery. It was more expensive than buying coal by the ton. To buy a copy of this book E-Mail Dwaffleman@aol.com
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Council Holds School $$ Until SEIU Deal Is Reached good jobs, you know what is going to happen? Kids are going to get hurt,” said Ernie Bennett, an engineer at Tanner Duckery School employed by Philadelphia public schools for more than 26 years. “When parents don’t have jobs, how can they take care of their kids, or pay their taxes and their mortgages?” Bennett, who has two grandchildren in the schools and a daughter who teaches and coaches at a Philadelphia high school, mentors kids after work, teaching them how to use a power drill and replace a light bracket.
Philadelphia City Council members passed Resolution 120500 yesterday. It will prevent the City Council from advancing any proposed School Reform Commission budget plan until an agreement is reached between 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union and the SRC. The resolution urges the SRC to quickly resolve the negotiations to prevent the layoffs of 2,700 school district workers, many of whom could lose their jobs as soon as Jul. 1, 2012. “City Council is closely monitoring the SRC budget requests and fully expects an SEIU settlement before we finalize our allocation to the School district this year,” Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez said. Passage of the resolution comes a week after an historic mass demonstration in downtown Philadelphia against the planned closure of dozens of schools and the layoff of every public school aide, bus driver, attendant, mechanic, building engineer, cleaner and maintenance worker. Most school workers live in communities already reeling from high unemployment. Their salaries alone contribute almost $1 billion to Philadelphia’s economy. “If this school district eliminates thousands of
The resolution calls on Governor Corbett and the General Assembly to restore critical funding to public education for Philadelphia and public school districts across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Council also affirmed that public education should never be dismantled for the sake of further privatization and corporatization schemes. 32BJ represents more than 10,000 workers employed in K-12 school districts, including in Philadelphia, New York City, and other districts throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. With more than 120,000 members, including 10,000 in the Philadelphia area, 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country.
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City GOP Chair Applauds School-Choice Rally
WEDNESDAY’S rally in support of State Sen. Anthony Williams’ SB 1, which would advance school vouchers for students in most need, packed sidewalk in front of City Hall. Rick Hellberg, newly elected Chairman of the Philadelphia Republican City Committee, released the following statement on Wednesday’s School Choice Rally: “Yesterday students, parents, local activists and legislators stood tall to protect the rights of children in Pennsylvania to a quality education when they met at City Hall in support of school vouchers and Educational Improvement Tax credits. “The Philadelphia Republican Party stands with them. When far too many of our schools are branded ‘failing,’ we must look to new avenues to provide the students of this city with an educational opportunity equal to the best offered around the Com6|
monwealth. Philadelphia’s children deserve no less. Both they and their parents are entitled to the choices provided in the competitive marketplace of a voucher based system. “We appreciate the efforts and support of Joe Watkins, former Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, David Hardy, CEO of Boys’ Latin Charter School and former Republican candidate for City Council-at-Large and Dave Kralle, our current Republican candidate for State Representative in the 169th Dist. Their support and the efforts of organizations like Students First PA will bring needed relief to Philadelphia and all its citizens.”
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PGW Drops Gas Rates The Philadelphia Gas Works today announced its latest in a series of natural-gas rate decreases for residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers. For the average residential heating customer, the change lowers their PGW bill by an additional 2.5% per month, approximately, and equates to new savings of $34.36 per year. In the last year alone, PGW’s natural gas rate has fallen from $1.562 per 100 cubic feet on June 1, 2011, to today’s rate of $1.35623 per Ccf for residential customers. On an annualized basis, the average PGW residential customer, using 880 Ccf of natural gas a year, now pays $181 less than they did twelve months ago. PGW reviews its gas rate quarterly and determines, based on market conditions, whether it should change. The new rate begins today, Jun. 1 and will stay in effect through Sep. 1, 2012. The price for PGW’s commercial, industrial and municipal customers will also decrease today. “With so many household costs on the rise for Philadelphians, these additional savings on natural
gas are good news, and bring welcome relief to our customers for the fifth consecutive quarter,” said PGW President and CEO Craig E. White. “Improved wholesale natural-gas prices and PGW’s commitment to effective purchasing and planning mean our customers continue to reap the rewards as we monitor the natural gas markets and continue to identify real savings on their behalf.” Currently, PGW anticipates that its rates should remain stable for the foreseeable future, based on market projections, producing savings for all of the company’s customers, compared to recent years. PGW’s residential natural-gas rates are made up of two main components: a supply charge and delivery charge: The supply charge is the part of the bill that reflects the amount of gas used by the customer. This charge is what PGW pays for the gas and is passed on to the customer without markup. The delivery charge includes the cost of delivering natural gas to the customer’s residence, distribution system maintenance and customer billing costs, as well as weather adjustments.
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DPW Launches New Transparency Portal To help Pennsylvania taxpayers better understand how the Dept. of Public Welfare spends their money, Secretary Gary D. Alexander has announced a new addition to the agency’s website. “We want to clear up any confusion about the people that we serve, what our programs do, and, most importantly, how we spend taxpayer dollars,” Alexander said. “In an attempt to be more open and accessible, we have created an extensive section on our website dedicated to government transparency. It is important that we show the scope of the department’s functions and how funds are used.” New information on the website includes: Fees set by the department to pay doctors and suppliers; Provider reimbursement rates; Facility audits; and Benefit enrollment data. The new open government section of the website also compiles existing information that has been updated to better explain the department’s daily activities. This updated information includes: · Budget information; · Extensive statistical data; · Facility inspection results; and · Legislative testimony. “Information on our open government pages will be updated as we identify additional ways that we can tell the story of Public Welfare in Pennsylvania,” said Alexander. The new information is found online at www.dpw.state.pa.us by clicking on the “trans8|
parency” graphic on the homepage. For more information about DPW, visit www.dpw.state.pa.us or call 1 (800) 692-7462. Pennsylvanians who suspect welfare fraud should call 1 (800) 932-0582.
Nutter, Oh Team Up Against Monument Vandals Mayor Michael A. Nutter has offered legislation, introduced today by City Councilman David Oh, that toughens the penalties, both fines and potential incarceration, on those who vandalize or damage public art and memorials, including those that honor military, police, firefighters and other national defense or public safety subjects. On Memorial Day, Nutter announced during ceremonies at memorials to fallen veterans that he would send this legislation to City Council this week. “I’ve been in regular contact with the veterans who maintain the All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers & Sailors, the Korean and Vietnam veterans memorials and others monuments and other veterans groups about how we can better maintain these places that honor heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation. Their stories about vandalism and damage at these and other sacred memorials raised serious questions,” said the Mayor. “Councilman Oh and I want to send a very strong message that such behavior will not be tol-
THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD erated. We’re doing that by substantially increasing the penalties for vandalizing or damaging these monuments and public works of art and by prohibiting people from using their skateboards, rollerblades and bikes in a way that damages these memorials.”
tional vandalism, making all violations subject to a maximum $2,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail. “Philadelphia is a city with deep historical and cultural roots, and protecting our public spaces, historical landmarks, memorials and outdoor public artwork is essential to maintaining that aspect of our city’s image” said the Councilman. “I was happy to introduce an ordinance today on behalf of Mayor Nutter so that we can better combat vandalism and public nuisances around these precious assets that are meant to be enjoyed by those who call Philadelphia their home as well as visitors to our great city.”
The bill prohibits skateboarding, rollerblading and bicycling on monuments and public art and would make this new offense punishable with a maximum fine of $2,000, up to 90 days in jail for adults and confiscation of the skateboard, rollerblades or bike. The ordinance also eliminates the lower penalty level for ethnic intimidation and institu-
Thomas Amendments Restore Services $$ middle-income families all across Pennsylvania.”
State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas D-N. Phila.) has introduced several bills that would amend the 2012/13 state budget. Thomas recently presented an alternative to Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget that reallocates $1.7 billion in the general budget focusing on the areas of education, jobs, healthcare and housing. These amendments would allow parts of Thomas’ proposal to be voted on as part of the budget bill.
Thomas’ amendments include $5 million for a new workforce development program and $6 million to restore the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program under the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. “Thousands of Pennsylvanians have lost their jobs and are facing foreclosures in rural and urban Pennsylvania while the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency remains underfunded,” Thomas said. “We need to help people instead of kicking them while they’re down as the Corbett budget does.”
In the area of education, Thomas’ amendments would restore $250 million to Basic Education, increase the School Nutrition Incentive Program by $3 million, restore $5 million to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Program, $11 million to PELL Grants and $100 million to the Pennsylvania Accountability Block Grant Program. “The Republican budget plan is not a restoration of Governor Corbett’s cuts,” explained Thomas, democratic chair of the House Urban Affairs Committee. “It does nothing to repair the damage from the massive and devastating cuts Corbett signed into law last year that hurt seniors, low-income and
Under health care, Thomas’ amendments would add $2 million to breast-cancer screening, $1.147 million to trauma centers, $5 million to acute care hospitals and $7 million to AIDS programs. Funding for human services programs also would be restored under Thomas’ amendments. They include $3 million for child-care assistance, $130,000 for rape crisis programs, $220,000 for domestic-violence programs and $5 million for community-
THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD based family centers. Thomas said money to fund the programs in his amendments would be reallocated from the $263 million expected from the Bank Settlement lawsuit in addition to funding in Corbett’s budget targeted to the Corrections Dept., Camp Forestry and the Governor’s Technology Modernization Program. “This isn’t just about numbers and dollar signs,” said Thomas. “It’s about real people – our children in public schools, our elderly family members, and our disabled and chronically ill neighbors. I am calling on Gov. Corbett and his Republicans allies
to put aside their political ideology and to put the interests of the people ahead of their partisan agenda that is hurting the people they claim to represent.” Thomas said people should call their State Representatives and urge them to support these amendments. “Gov. Corbett and the Republicans have ignored the millions of faces behind this budget, but we cannot allow their voices to go unheard. I and other House Democrats will keep fighting to provide budget choices that help Pennsylvanians rather than the inhumane choices they are trying to force on us.”
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