Vol. III No. 95 (461)
Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia
June 5, 2012
Philadelphia Daily Record
PENNA. LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS scholarship presentations were held at African American Museum. Program was established to assist graduating minority high-school students who enroll in Pennsylvania colleges. Pictured are this yearâ€™s winners, from left: Alpha Kanu, Fumei Cereelino, Nashetah Tucker and Zachary Webster, all from Phila., joined by PLBC members State Reps. Rosita Youngblood, W. Curtis Thomas, PLBC President Rep Ronald G. Waters, Gary Williams, Michelle Brownlee and Vanessa Lowery Brown. Students each received a check for $1200.00 and a new laptop to help with studies and citations of excellence from General Assembly.
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Jun. 9Republican State Senatorial candidate Mike Tomlinson fundraiser at Chickie’s & Pete’s, 11000 Roosevelt Blvd. Tickets at door $40, two for $75. 6 pm on. For info contact Kathy Lombardi, (215) 5197553 or email@example.com.
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.
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. 15-17- Remembering Juneteenth (Freedom Day, Jun. 19), three-day celebration hosted by Berean Baptist Ch., 2425-33 W. Indiana Ave. Rev. James Henry Buck, Jr., pastor. For info (215) 229-8048.
Jun. 13Republican City Committee schedules meeting for ward leadersa at United Republican Club, 7 p.m. 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. 14Creative Class Fundraiser for Councilman David Oh at the Walnut Room, 1709 Walnut Street, 5 to 8 pm. Tickets $50 up. Special for Artists, $5 at the door. For information call John Kathrina at 215-252-6918.
Jun. 15Celebrating 60th anniversary of SS United States celebration and stack lighting at Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd., 6:30-9 p.m Tickets $30. Jun. 22Cocktail reception for Joe Rooney, Republican 13th Dist. congressional candidate, hosted by Donna Parisi at A Child’s Place, 524 Sugartown Rd., Devon, Pa. Tickets $150$1,000. For info Maria Diezel (610) 430-0419. Jun. 2714th annual Youth Anti Violence Health Awareness Initiative, 9am to 4 pm, Myers Rec. Center, 58th and Kingsessing av. Free event.
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First Lady To Visit Constitution Center First Lady Michelle Obama will speak to supporters and volunteers at the National Constitution Center tomorrow. The First Lady will remind voters and grassroots supporters about what's at stake in this election, encourage them to register to vote, and thank them for their hard work to help reelect President BarackObama in November. Tickets are required due to limited space.
Roebuck: It’s Time To Reform Charters State Rep. James Roebuck (DW. Phila.), Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, welcomed the introduction of a new charter and cyber charter school reform bill, while also laying out four principles Roebuck believes must be in any bill to reform those schools. Roebuck is a co-sponsor of the bill. “At a time when public schools are still coping with last year’s state education funding cuts and local property taxpayers want to avoid another round of trickle-
down tax hikes, it's only fair to taxpayers for all schools play by the same rules,” Roebuck said. “These reforms should be in effect starting with the 2012-13 school year. We can provide this relief immediately to school districts and their taxpayers. These reforms would provide at least $45.8 million in savings for the coming school year, and probably much more than that.” Roebuck said the new bill, introduced by State Rep. Mike
Fleck (R-Huntingdon), is a good start. “In addition to the direct fiscal reforms, I am pleased the bill retains local control over charter school approval, unlike competing legislation that would strip away that local authority and place it in the hands of bureaucrats in Harrisburg,” Roebuck said. Roebuck said any bill to reform the financing of charter and cyber charter schools should ad-
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Daily Waffles From Joe Sbaraglia (The Waffleman) CONDUCTORS - were the men who sat on a seat in a small enclosure near the center door of a trolley. They collected the fares from passengers passing their position. Everyone had to pass them to get off the trolley. Exiting the trolley was never done through the front
doors. The conductor kept a count of the passengers using a large counter, which he operated with a cord. He wore a rubber thumb, needed to help count the transfers which were used by passengers from a connecting trolley or bus line.
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DA VET - Veterans Stadium, one of our sports stadiums. For example: The igg-ells play at da Vet. DEFF-LEE - Certainly. For example: I deff-lee enjoyed it. DEMOLITION DERBY - was held in the Municipal Stadium. There, junk cars smashed into each other until only one was still running, thus becoming the winner. DEPOSIT ON SODA BOTTLES - was always charged. Two cents for a small bottle and five cents for a large. The empty bottles were a source of revenue for any enterprising kid with a wagon. The kids scoured the streets and alleys to reclaim them. The bottles were brought to the candy store and cashed in for the deposit. DIN - Did not. For example: I din do it.
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THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD dress four key areas: • Limiting unassigned fund balances for charter and cyber charter schools, consistent with the limits already in effect for traditional public schools. In 2010, the Auditor General reported charter schools had $108 million in reserve funds. Nearly half of charter schools had a cumulative reserve fund balance above traditional public schools’ limit of 12% of their annual spending. The charter-school balances ranged as high as 95%. • Removing the “double dip” for pension costs by charter and cyber charter schools. Presently, a school district’s cost for retirement expenditure is not subtracted from expenditures in the tuition calculation that determines funding for charters. This sets up a “double dip”, since
state law guarantees charter schools reimbursement for their retirement costs. The Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials estimates that between 2011-12 and 2016-17, eliminating the “double dip” would save school districts $510 million, including $45.8 million in savings for 2012-2013. • Limiting the amount of special education funding that a charter or cyber charter school receives per student to the school district’s total per-pupil spending for special-education services. The state funding formula’s 16% cap on school district special-education population does not apply to charter schools. An official of Bensalem Township HS in Bucks Co. testified last year this results in paying $3,425 more per charter school special education student than Bensalem is paying for
its own special-education students. • Requiring year-end audits by the state Dept. of Education to determine the actual costs of education services of charter and cyber charter schools, followed by an annual year-end final reconciliation process of tuition payments from school districts against those actual costs. Any overpayments would be returned to the school districts. In the 2010-11 school year, non-special-education tuition rates per student ranged from $4,478 to $16,915. In 2009-10, school districts paid charter schools $795 million, with only about $227 million reimbursed to them by the state. The 2011-12 state budget ended that state reimbursement.
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Josephs Renews Struggle To Ban ‘Sine Die’ Session State Rep. Babette Josephs (DS. Phila.) is planning to reintroduce legislation that would prohibit the General Assembly from holding lame-duck sessions. Lame-duck, or sine die, session is the period after Election Day in November and before the end of the two-year legislative session, which is constitutionally set at Nov. 30 in even-numbered years. “Although Republican leaders have publicly announced the General Assembly will not convene for lame-duck session this year, they have refrained from making this a permanent rule,” Josephs said. “As long as the option for a lame-duck session remains, the door is left open for future lawmakers to take advantage of this period to advance their own interests ahead of those of the people.
“It is those very surprises we’ve experienced in the past that have earned the ire of the public and hurt the public's confidence in the entire General Assembly,” she said. Josephs’ legislation would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to require the General Assembly to end its two-year legislative session by Election Day in November in even-numbered years. Exceptions to that – enabling the General Assembly to convene between the general election and Nov. 30 of even years – would be if the General Assembly or Governor approves it. Josephs said that lame-duck session can be a prime opportunity for legislators to take advantage or create abuse of the legislative process.
“Reelected legislators have two years before they again face voters at the polls and legislators not returning can make laws without fear of voter wrath. Having this session allows them to postpone important and difficult decisions until they cannot be held accountable for them and hope that voters forget over time. It's time we make prohibition of sine die session law to ensure the General Assembly always maintains focus on its primary purpose, representing the people of the Commonwealth.” Josephs introduced this bill in 2008, where it was reported out of committee, but failed to be considered by the full House. “Sine die” is Latin for “without a day” and is used to describe the final adjournment of the twoyear session.
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DEP Announces Natural-Gas Vehicle Resource Website The Dept. of Environmental Protection announced the launch of a Natural Gas Vehicle website and plan to help municipal and commercial fleet owners make informed decisions about converting their fleets to compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas, in advance of a related grant program. “These web-based resources will educate fleet owners and other potential grant applicants in advance of workshops being scheduled for the fall,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “Website users have a unique opportunity to submit information to DEP about projects they may be considering, so that we can craft a program to best serve their needs and help make resulting grant applications competitive.” Act 13 of 2012 authorizes DEP to develop and implement a Natural Gas Energy Development Program to distribute up to $20 million in grants over three years
to help pay for the incremental purchase and conversion costs of natural gas fleet vehicles. “This new website will put information at the fingertips of those who are interested in learning more about natural gas vehicles,” Public Utility Commission Chairman Robert F. Powelson said. “As we found with our recent forum on alternative-fuel vehicles, people are eager to explore the role of natural-gas vehicles in Pennsylvania. “At the same time, municipalities and employers have many questions about costs and benefits,” Powelson said. “This website will go a long way toward providing answers and allowing DEP to design a program that will best meet their needs.” The new website offers information on the Natural Gas Energy Development Program as well as existing NGV fueling tools and resources, such as costsavings calculators, fueling maps
and technical assistance sites. An important aspect of the site includes a survey section allowing applicants to share their ideas and prospective project information with DEP in advance of the autumn workshops. Those interested are also encouraged to register on the website to be notified of workshop dates, the opening of the initial grant round and other outreach opportunities. DEP will host six regional NGV seminars this fall and may also hold additional sessions for specific groups, such as municipal associations, school board associations and public transportation groups. For more information about the program and the future workshop schedule, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on the Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program button.
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Dunbar Sees Gain In Support In 177th DUNBAR GAINING SUP- district and I want to do everyPORT thing possible to encourage continued growth amongst our area During the last few weeks businesses,” says Dunbar. Over William F. Dunbar has proven to the past two weeks, residents many residents and businesses have been able share their indithroughout the Port Richmond, vidual concerns about safer Bridesburg, Fishtown and other streets, education and job creparts of Northeast Philadelphia ation with the Democratic candithat his commitment to commudate as he visited numerous nity supersedes personal interest homes in the 177th Dist. or agenda, proving he is a leader for the entire legislative district. On Thursday an energetic crowd of supporters gathered at Dunbar has recently been makthe Omni Hotel in Independence ing his way around the various Square for a fundraiser hosted by streets and communities of the State Sen. Michael Stack (D177th Dist. meeting residents and Northeast). Attendees coma wide variety of business ownmented on how the Dunbar ers. “Local business is vital to campaign is making tremendous the continued development of the
progress in informing voters that his candidacy stands for progress not politics and development not division. Guests included Democratic ward leaders, party loyalists and strategists eager to show their personal and financial commitment to making William F. Dunbar the new State Representative of the 177th House Dist. The Democratic Party is energized and determined that William F. Dunbar is the candidate to take back this seat after 25 years. Dunbar has already earned the endorsement of Congressman Brady, District Attorney Seth Williams as well as Stack, who also represent the district.