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Vol. III No. 104 (469)

Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia

June 25, 2012

Philadelphia Daily Record

Art Scene

ARTIST Sibylle-Maria Pfaffbicher and her artwork was one of scores of creative types from Delaware Valley offering their wares – and their visions – at Manayunk Art Festival Saturday.


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Jun. 2714th annual Youth Anti Violence Health Awareness Initiative at Myers Rec Ctr., 58th & Kingsessing Ave., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free event. Jun. 28Tom Matkowski’s GOP 65th Ward hosts fundraiser at Flukes Bar & Grill, 7401 State Rd., 6 p.m. Tickets $40. For info (215) 2982251. Jul. 7- Councilman Curtis Jones’ Block Captain Boot Camp at Belmont Picnic Grove, Belmont Ave. & Belmont Mansion Dr., 12-6 p.m. Workshops, picnic, games. Jul. 21Fundraiser for State Rep. John Taylor in N. Wildwood at Coconut Cove, 400 W. Spruce Ave., N. Wildwood, N.J., 2-6 p.m. Cash Bar. For info (215) 545-2244.

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Camp at Belmont Picnic Grove, Belmont Ave. & Belmont Mansion Dr., 12-6 p.m. Workshops, picnic, games. Jul. 14-16- Hispanic Fiesta at Penns Landing from 2 to 8 pm. Jul. 21Fundraiser for State Rep. John Taylor in N. Wildwood at Coconut Cove, 400 W. Spruce Ave., N. Wildwood, N.J., 2-6 p.m. , $25. Cash Bar. For info (215) 545-2244. Jul. 21Olney HS Class of 1979 Bowling Party at Liberty Lanes, 6505 Market St., Upper Darby, Pa., 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Cost $20. BYOB (beer or wine only). Jul. 28Brady Bunch Beach Party at Keenan’s in Anglesea, Wildwood, N.J., 4 p.m. Tickets available at door.

Jul. 21Olney HS Class of 1979 Bowling Party at Liberty Lanes, 6505 Market St., Upper Darby, Pa., 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Cost $20. BYOB (beer or wine only).

Aug. 18Barrett Rec Ctr. Advisory Board Community Day, 8th & Duncannon Sts., 11 a.m.-3 pm. No charge. Family fun day. All invited. For info Sheila Bellamy (215) 457-4079.

Jun. 28- Tom Matkowski’s GOP 65th Ward hosts fundraiser at Flukes Bar & Grill, 7401 State Rd., 6 p.m. Tickets $40. For info (215) 298-2251.

Aug. 1847th Ward Crab & Shrimp Fest to Baltimore leaves Progress Plaza, Broad and Oxford Sts., 1 p.m. Open bar, massive menu. $150. For info George Brooks (267) 971-5703.

Jul. 7- Councilman Curtis Jones’ Block Captain Boot

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Toomey Intros Bill On Data Security US Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) introduced a bill Thursday to create a national standard requiring companies to protect and secure consumers’ electronic data. Companies must currently comply with 46 different state laws in the event of a data breach. The Senator’s bill would preempt these laws and replace them with a single national standard, providing better protections and swifter responses for consumers. In the event of a data breach, the bill would direct companies possessing personal data to notify consumers by mail, email or telephone if their infor-

mation is stolen. “A number of recent high-profile data breaches combined with the messy patchwork of 46 different state laws highlight how difficult it is for consumers to know their personal information is secure. Congress needs to provide businesses and consumers with certainty and establish a single reasonable standard for information security and breach notification practices. Our bill would eliminate the burden of complying with varying standards and laws, ensuring that all consumers and their personal information are afforded the same level of protection,” Toomey said. • PHILADELPHIADAILYRECORD.COM

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THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

Daily Waffles From Joe Sbaraglia (The Waffleman) FLIPPING BASEBALL CARDS – “Odd or even” was the call before two players simultaneously flipped a baseball card underhanded. If, when they landed, they were the same – face up or face down – they were consid-

ered to be even. If either card was different, that was considered to be odd. The challenger made the prediction – odd or even. If he guessed correctly, he took both cards. If he were incorrect, he lost, but he got to call the next

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flip. This was a great way to increase your baseballcard collection, if you were lucky.

FLUTE-CLUBS - Many elementary-school kids joined flute clubs to play a musical instrument. The instrument was a piece of chrome-plated brass pipe, about twelve inches long, with nine holes. Eight for your fingers (it had no thumb hole). The ninth hole was where the mouthpiece was attached. They were Melodic Flutes or simply flutes. They could be mastered in about three hours. When they were played in tune with the thirty or forty other members of the club, what beautiful sounds could be produced – most of the time.

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Fattah Plugs Neuroscience Plans In Massachusetts Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), a leading voice in Congress for neuroscience research, met today with a top adviser to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to explore Fattah’s idea to adapt the new Massachusetts Neuroscience Consortium as the model for a national public-private-nonprofit partnership on brain research. Fattah’s schedule in the Boston area includes a meeting at Harvard University with a leading neuroscientist who is heading to the University of Pennsylvania as well as a site visit with officials of Pfizer Inc. in Cambridge, Mass. Pfizer recently opened a major research and development hub in Cambridge as an entrepreneurial network of partnerships with leading academic medical centers. Fattah met in Washington last month with Pfizer’s head of research and development. “This new Consortium based in Boston and Cambridge is an exciting development for future advances in brain science and medicine,” Fattah said.

“The Consortium can provide us with the model for a major national partnership of government, the pharmaceutical industry, leading academic researchers and medical schools.” Fattah is the author of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative that establishes the Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience at the White House to coordinate federal brain-injury and brain-disease research and development. Currently at least four separate federal departments and agencies are involved in funding or overseeing various aspects of neuroscience research. Fattah said he would like to attract more interest in neuroscience research among pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer but is proposing reforms in patent law to increase the incentives for new discoveries and treatment in brain disease. Fattah is the senior Democratic appropriator on the House Appropriations Committee for the Dept. of Commerce, which administers the patent process. • PHILADELPHIADAILYRECORD.COM

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Sen. Washington Welcomes HEMAP Back In Budget State Sen. LeAnna Washington (D-Northwest) applauded the news on Friday, Jun. 22, Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law SB 1433, which reinstates the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program. “I was outraged that Gov. Corbett had again excluded HEMAP from this year’s budget proposal because this program has successfully helped homeowners across the state,” Washington said. “I am happy that funds will now be available so HEMAP may begin the process of helping thousands of families on the brink of foreclosure stay in their homes.” For the upcoming fiscal year, Sen. John Gordner’s (R-Columbia) bill – now known as Act 70 of 2012 – will allocate up to $18 million from the Homeowners Assistance Settlement Fund to fund mortgage-assistance measures, with 90% of the funding reserved for HEMAP and 10% reserved for funding consumer protection programs. An additional $6 million will be available to immediately address residual backlog from the program’s dor6|

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mancy. HEMAP will receive $12 million in subsequent fiscal years. In January, Washington first introduced a bill which sought to annually allocate $15 million in table games revenue to reinstate HEMAP. While Gordner’s bill provides less funding in upcoming years, Washington indicated that any reinstatement of HEMAP is a first step in the process of helping families work their way through delinquent mortgages. “Philadelphia has the highest number of foreclosures in the state, and I am so glad that our hard work will help families with underwater mortgages see light at the end of the tunnel,” Washington continued. Washington noted that she is a HEMAP success story. “We all experience financial difficulties at one point in our lives, and I was so grateful HEMAP gave me the opportunity to stay in my home while I got back on my feet,” she said.


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Roebuck: New Bill Is ‘Vouchers On Steroids’ State Rep. James Roebuck (D-W. Phila.), Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said a bill set for a vote in the committee today is “school vouchers on steroids – the worst bill yet.” Roebuck said HB 2468 goes well beyond previous bills to give out tax-funded private-school vouchers, both from the Ridge era in the 1990s and bills introduced in the current session. “Make no mistake—it’s just vouchers through a tax credit. The business donations would be 90% reimbursed with state tax credits. It deserves careful scrutiny just as the Shell Oil tax-credit proposal does,” Roebuck said. Roebuck said key areas of concern with the bill include: More tax money being spent: The bill would spend $100 million on vouchers in its first year, rising to $200 million in the third year. Both figures are higher than in any previous voucher bill, Roebuck said. Higher income limit: Families with incomes of up to $75,000 could get a voucher. “That is not directed at low-income families – a $75,000 income is not poor,”” he said. Higher amount per voucher: The bill would provide the highest private-school voucher amounts ever proposed in a Pennsylvania bill – $8,500 for non-disabled students and $15,000 for students with disabilities. Roebuck said some private schools would be likely to classify as many stu-

dents as possible as having disabilities, such as reading disabilities. No phase-in to focus on public-school students: Previous voucher bills have included a phase-in that would restrict the program to students currently enrolled in public schools. The new bill does not. Bailout for private schools: Roebuck said the lack of a phase-in would mean 85-90% of the students getting a voucher would already be in private schools. “That is not how the bill is being sold, but that would be the result,” he said. A similar Ridge administration proposal estimated 87% of the vouchers would go to students already in private schools. In this session, the Senate fiscal note on SB 1 estimated 67% of its vouchers would go to students already in private schools. Leaving the choice to the private schools, not the students: Like all Pennsylvania voucher bills, the legislation would not require private schools or neighboring public school districts to accept any student with a voucher. “Once again, the private schools would do the choosing, not the students,” Roebuck said. Roebuck said his alternative to vouchers, All Students Can Succeed (HB 2322), has bipartisan support and should be considered by all who want to help children in the lowest-performing schools. More information about his bill is available at www.pahouse.com/Roebuck. • PHILADELPHIADAILYRECORD.COM

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THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

DeLissio: Guv Should Open Budget Process With about a week to go before the end of the fiscal year, State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio (D-Northwest) encouraged Gov. Tom Corbett to exert leadership and support to provide a fair budget process for all citizens of Pennsylvania. In a letter to Corbett, DeLissio complained of the “less-than-democratic process” surrounding this year’s budget studies. Democrats have been shut out of the discussion by Republican majorities in Senate, House and Governor’s Mansion. “In reference to the budget the minority party is in8|

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deed a stakeholder. The minority party represents 45.5% of the citizens of the Commonwealth, yet the minority party has been and continues to be excluded from budget discussions and negotiations. “My testimony at the Appropriations Committee hearings in March spoke about the lack of inclusion in last year’s budget discussion and stated that I sincerely hoped that the process would be different this year. The process has not changed. The process as it is currently unfolding is unacceptable. Excluding representatives of 5.7 million citizens is unacceptable.”


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OPINION:

Marcellus, Liquor Sales Are Alternatives To AVI by Alfonso Gambone (Gambone is running for State Senate in Philadelphia’s 1st Dist.) Despite his opposition to Mayor Michael Nutter’s Actual Value Initiative, State Sen. Farnese (D-S. Phila.) has yet to offer any alternative measure to solve the Philadelphia School District’s budget shortfall. Under Nutter’s plan, AVI will generate approximately $90 million in revenue for the City. While the Mayor may believe that he is putting the needs of our city’s children first, his plan fails to consider the negative impact on Philadelphia residents, particularly the elderly and young families. AVI will drastically increase the real-estate taxes of over 57,000 residents. It is my firm belief that government policy should focus on our future but respect the past. Philadelphia’s young families often weigh the decision of whether to raise their children in the city or move to a suburb. The mayor’s proposal provides these families with yet another reason to move out. In addition, the measure threatens our city’s elderly residents who often live on fixed incomes. While the consolidation of administrative support services may allow the city government to decrease the size of the school district budget, layoffs, consolidation, and other budget measures will not completely solve the school’s budget problems. While Sen. Farnese may believe that his opposition to AVI is sufficient, I believe

Philadelphians want and expect more from their elected representatives in Harrisburg. There are opportunities in Pennsylvania which can provide sources of revenue to reduce our state’s $4 billion budget deficit and provide funding for school districts and other infrastructure improvements. Opportunities such as natural gas exploration in Marcellus Shale will not only provide a source of revenue for Pennsylvania, it will create jobs and make our State the model for energy independence throughout the country. While Marcellus is located hours from our city, proceeds would be disbursed based on population meaning Philadelphia stands to get the most revenue from the development of this natural resource. Despite this revenue opportunity, Sen. Farnese voted no on the Marcellus Shale bill for natural gas exploration. Rather than seeking to maximize the potential of Pennsylvania’s naturalgas reserve he believes that we need to put a severance tax on the gas drilling industry. A severance tax, like any new tax, provides just another disincentive for investors. Farnese, however, doesn’t pretend to hide his opposition to private enterprise and free markets. He also opposes the privatizations of the Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board despite the fact that privatization could generate between $1.1 billion and $1.6 billion for the Commonwealth. These proceeds, like natural-gas development funds, would be distributed based on population, with Philadelphia taking the lion share to fund the • PHILADELPHIADAILYRECORD.COM

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THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD school district and other infrastructure projects. The LCB’s operating costs are the cause of the retail markup which drives Pennsylvanians to other states to buy their wine and spirits. Over the last 10 years, the LCB’s revenue has grown at a rate of 3.5% while expenses have grown at a rate of 5.5%. A privatized system would recapture these lost sales and improve profitability while reducing price and create private-sector jobs.

Marcellus Shale and private liquor sales are real alternatives to AVI. These alternatives can provide a source of funding to Philadelphia’s School District and infrastructure improvements while protecting Philadelphians from higher taxes. In these tough economic times, we need our leaders to provide us with real alternatives to our economic problems.

Lutheran Seminary Anoints A New Dean The Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian assumes the post of Dean of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia Jul. 1. He succeeds the Rev. Dr. J. Paul Rajashekar, who has held the post for 12 years and will now focus his energies on a variety of interests, including returning more fully to the classroom as the Luther D. Reed Professor of Systematic Theology. Dr. Sebastian, 53, a resident of Philadelphia’s East Mt. Airy neighborhood on the seminary campus, has served on the faculty since 2007. Called “Kiran” by colleagues and friends, he is the H. George Anderson Professor of Mission and Cultures, directs the seminary’s Multicultural Mission Resource Center, and for the past three years held the position of Seminary Chaplain. He earned his Doctor of Theology in 1997 from the University of Hamburg, Germany (Magna Cum Laude). In 1991 he earned his Master of Theology from the Federated Faculty for Research in Religion and Culture, Kottayam, India, where he received the all-India prize for having the highest grade in all branches of study for the degree. He was awarded his Bachelor of Divinity in 1984 from the United Theological College in Bangalore, India, where he was likewise honored for receiving the highest grades during his studies. He holds a 10 |

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Bachelor of Science from Bangalore University (1980). He went on to teach from 1988 to 2007 at the United Theological College. Dr. Sebastian’s teaching background reflects his wide-ranging scholarly interests and love of books fostered by his family — especially his grandmother, whom he terms his foremost mentor, and his parents and uncles, many of whom were pastors and scholars. Dr. Sebastian became an ordained pastor of the Church of South India in 1985. The Church of South India was formed in 1947 by a union of Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregational traditions in what has been good-humoredly called “the greatest coming together of traditions to form a church since the Pentecost!” Being part of such a church has made him feel “very comfortable” at LTSP, which he says is firmly rooted in its Lutheran tradition but which has also welcomed students from the range of traditions he has known in India, as well as students from many other backgrounds. Dr. Sebastian says he is thrilled at his new opportunity as Dean at a seminary with a wide range of interests that reflect his own, including foci on public and global theology and strong Lutheran


THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD roots that have been fed by other traditions, including the school’s 30-year-old Urban Theological Institute with its breadth of traditions and student backgrounds. “Our Latino/Latina, Urban/Metro, Multicultural, and Black Studies concentrations and Interfaith perspectives reflect the changing demographics of our landscape,” he says. In a time when many focus on a “declining” church, Dr. Sebastian cautions that decline is not a part of church life everywhere. “The Bride of Christ always has surprises for us,” he says. “A Christian needs to ask, ‘Why is there this living hope in us?’ We are here to tell the good old story in a changing and messy context. We are not witnessing to a dead faith but rather to the real, living Christ, interacting with all of humankind and beyond.”

Founded in 1864, LTSP is one of eight seminaries certified with the 4.2-million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, headquartered in Chicago. It has more than 350 students and offers numerous degrees — the Master of Divinity, which qualifies students for ordained ministry; the Master of Arts in Religion, often pursued by students seeking a career as a church musician or director of Christian education; the Master of Arts in Public Leadership, for those interested in professional ministry in faith-based social-service organizations or a related field; and advanced level degrees including the Doctor of Ministry, the Master of Sacred Theology and the Doctor of Philosophy. The seminary is located on a 13-acre campus in Philadelphia’s East Mt. Airy neighborhood

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Year-Old ‘Bread’ Celebrated On Main Line

AMONG THOSE on hand to congratulate Joel Perez and Georges Perrier on first anniversary of their Art of Bread French bakery and cafe in Narberth are, from left, Walter I. Hofman, MD, Montgomery Co. Coroner; Joel Perez, partner and manager of the Art of Bread; Patti & Michael Scullin, Esq., Honorary French Consul of Phila. and Wilmington; Liz Rogan, chair of Lower Merion Board of Commissioners; and Georges Perrier, partner in the Art of Bread. Photo by Bonnie Squires

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DEREK GILLMAN, CEO of Barnes Foundation, came to pick up his daughter Mimi who is working for summer at Art of Bread. Michael Scullin, Esq., Honorary French Consul of Phila., was delighted to talk with them at VIP reception. Scullin serves on board of Alliance Franรงaise de Philadelphie which will be honoring Gillman at Bastille Day event at Independence Seaport Museum. Photo by Bonnie Squires

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