U.S. OPEN BRINGING LOTS OF GREEN STATE DEMOCRATS LOSE RISING STAR
GWYNEDD VALLEY ESTATE YOURS FOR $4.6 MILLION
A JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND POLITICS
VISIONS OF A WORLD-CLASS PHILADELPHIA Major players in the region agree - there are clear challenges, but we might be a lot closer to elite status than you think.
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23 AUGUST 2012
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A world-class Philadelphia: Closer than you may think
Yes, challenges exist, but they cannot dampen a sense that the Delaware Valley is on the verge of something pretty special.
Quietly, Dem star is gone
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Mike Gerber was seen by some as running for governor some day. His is political career is over suddently & rather quietly. !
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! The U.S. Open is coming to the Merion Golf Club in 2013, bringing with it an expected economic impact in excess of $115 million.
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PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER James McDonald EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Karl M. Smilth ASSOCIATE EDITOR Terrence Casey CONTENT TEAM Brandon Baker, Emily DiCicco CONTRIBUTORS Jay Bevenour, Elissa Vallano, Drew Markol,
Dina McCaffery-Siravo, Mary Louise Doyle ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Larry Smallcombe ACCOUNT MANAGER Charles Coltan
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23 AUGUST 2012
Digging Into Issues That Matter To Us
Karl Smith is the Editorial Director for Region’s Business. You can contact him at email@example.com
There are probably more differences than similarities between my hometown — Cleveland — and Philadelphia, my home for the past two decades or so. There’s the size differential, a huge difference in historical perspective, and there’s no getting around the gap in the East Coast-Midwest perspective. Yet there is one common trait: Neither city is what outsiders perceive and, in fact, both are loved by its residents more than any visitor. That’s because it takes time to really appreciate all they have to offer. When I mention my hometown to folks here, I’m often treated to poorly crafted wisecracks about a river catching on fire. When I mention Philadelphia to people who live away from the East Coast, I’m often asked about pelt-
ing Santa Claus with snowballs. Neither represents a proud moment for the city and neither provides a true representation of the city. To get that, you have to dig deeper. And that’s what we’re aiming to do at Region’s Business. We want to peel apart issues that are central to the health and welfare of the region and believe that focusing in on business and politics — particularly where the two intersect — will allow us to do that effectively. What better way to start such an endeavor than by taking the temperature of the region? Elissa Vallano does just that, opening a two-part series in our first edition with Visions of a World-Class Philadelphia. This 30,000-foot view draws from key business and political leaders and reminds us
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that there are significant challenges, but there are many reasons to be optimistic and there is plenty of positive momentum. One of the positives to look forward to is the return to the region of golf ’s U.S. Open next year. The Merion Golf Club will play host to the tournament and Drew Markol went beyond the birdies and bogies to touch on the economic impact. The bottom line on the bottom line? Lots of green. While a lot of media attention focuses on November’s presidential election, we know it’s important to keep a watch on things closer to home. Dina McCaffery-Siravo took a look at state Representative Mike Gerber, one of the rising stars in the state’s Democratic party. Some had pegged Rep. Gerber as a candidate for governor down the
road, but he abruptly ended his political career to return to the private sector. Mary Lou Dale dug into the sad case of H. William DeWeese, the one-time state House speaker whose decades-long political career ended in prison time stemming from corruption charges. Like the case of Rep. Gerber, the next steps are not yet clear. Speaking of next steps, despite a Commonwealth Court ruling, our state’s voter ID law remains tied up in legal wrangling. There is lots more in our first issue and much more to come in the issues that will follow. Please provide feedback on anything here or anything you’d like to see in upcoming issues. Just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to our conversations.
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23 AUGUST 2012
Constitution Center CEO, President to Leave by November
COURTESY OF NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER
David Eisner will step down as president and CEO of the National Constitution Center on October 31, the center announced Friday. Mr. Eisner had held the position of CEO since being appointed by the Board of Trustees in November 2009. The outgoing leader has agreed to help the center find his replacement. Until that time, Chief Operating Officer Vince Stango will hold the interim position.
Commission Considering Redevelopment Proposals The Philadelphia City Planning Commission heard proposals Tuesday for multiple redevelopment plans. One proposal sought the acquisition of 17 properties within the Mantua Urban Renewal Area in order to build a food market. Waterfront Renaissance Associates is considering constructing a 1,458unit project between four high-rise buildings on the 400-block of North Christopher Columbus Boulevard. Piers 34 and 35 South on the 700 block of South Christopher Columbus Boulevard are being eyed as the location for a 209-unit residential development. PHARMACEUTICALS
Judge Throws Out Suit Against J&J
A judge has concluded that investors at West Chester-based Synthes Inc. cannot claim the company’s chairman and controlling shareholder worked with Johnson & Johnson to shortchange them, according to a Bloomberg report. The medical device company was OBITUARY taken over by Johnson & Johnson in a $21.3 billion move, and investors claimed that Hansjoerf Wyss did not attempt to get the highest price possible. Instead, they alleged, he molded Real estate developer Kenneth S. Kaithe deal around his retirement plans. serman, 73, died Sunday after a battle “The plaintiffs’ argument...is therewith colon cancer. fore strikingly devoid of pled facts to Mr. Kaiserman was president and chief support it,” Delaware Chancery Court executive officer of Kaiserman Co., which Judge Leo Strine said in his decision. managed about four million square feet Investors will receive about $57.21 of real estate. He was born in Philadeland about 1.72 shares phia and attended Lower Merion High of Johnson and School and Brandeis University. Johnson stock for each Synthes share Send news tips to the y own, Associate Editor Terrence Casey according to at email@example.com Bloomberg.
Major Real Estate Developer Dies
The construction of a five-story, 69-unit residential building with underground parking is being considered for the 400 block of South Front Street.
ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA
Outside Manager Will Oversee High Schools Archbishop Charles Chaput, the regional leader of the Catholic community, said Tuesday that some Catholic schools in the archdiocese will be managed by “a private foundation affiliated with the church,” according to The Associated Press. Beginning September 1, the Faith in the Future Foundation will oversee 17 secondary and four special education schools. The schools serve about 15,000 students and have a combined budget of about $128 million, according to The Associated Press. They are currently managed by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office of Catholic Education. The foundation was created in February to help the schools, which have been battling increasing costs and decreasing enrollment, through fundraising and marketing.
Urban Outfitters on the Rise Since Rehiring Co-founder
Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters rehired co-founder Richard Hayne as CEO in January and the company has gained 13 percent in 2012 as of this week, according to BusinessWeek.com.
Sunoco Moves Forward with Pipeline Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. can move forward with plans to transport crude oil from West Texas to Gulf Coast markets, the Philadelphia-based company announced Tuesday. The project, called Permain Express Phase I, will be able to transport about 90,000 barrels per day between Wichita Falls, Texas and Nederland/Beaumont, Texas in the first quarter of 2013. “Permian Express Phase I offers West Texas producers and Gulf Coast refiners a fast and cost-efficient solution with tremendous operational flexibility,” said Michael J. Hennigan, Sunoco Logistics’ president and chief executive officer, in a statement. FOOD SERVICE
Aramark Vows More Humane Pork Practices Philadelphia-based Aramark announced in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Tuesday that it would cease using pork products from animals bred in gestation crates in Aramark’s U.S. supply chain by the year 2017. Gestation crates essentially immobilize pigs for their entire lives, according to HSUS. Aramark will begin writing new contracts for its suppliers requiring them to develop a plan to address the change. Nine states have already passed laws banning the use of gestation crates.
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NEW HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTION
Einstein Hospital Plans September Opening Breaking the decade-long hiatus of new medical facilities in the Philadelphia region, Einstein Healthcare Network will launch its Einstein Medical Center Montgomery facility on September 29. T he five-floor, 363,000-squarefoot facility will symbolically feature 146 beds as Einstein Healthcare Network enters its 146th year of business, with the hospital boasting services like robotic, minimally invasive treatment options for cardiac health, advanced obstetrical care for mothers-
to-be and advanced radiation and chemotherapy care for cancer patients. The facility will also offer health education and wellness programs.
St. Christopherâ€™s Eyes $110M Expansion Two buildings will be added to the main campus of St. Christopherâ€™s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia as part of a $110 million expansion, Tenet Healthcare Corporation announced. A four-story, 135,000-square-foot Critical Care tower will add 50 critical care beds and 60 neonatal intensive care unit beds. St. Christopherâ€™s will also build the Center for the Urban Child, offering children comprehensive medical treatment. â€œOur capital investment will fund the creation of a new state-of-the-art critical care addition that will provide advanced, compassionate health care to families with sick children,â€? said Trevor Fetter, Tenetâ€™s president and
chief executive officer, in a statement. St. Christopherâ€™s is rare in that it is a pediatric hospital with two medical school affiliations, said Mayor Michael A. Nutter in the statement. The expansion reportedly will create more than 300 new jobs, said Carolyn Jackson, chief executive officer for St. Christopherâ€™s.
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HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY
Aetna Plans $7.3B purchase of Coventry Health Care Aetna will purchase Coventry Health Care, Inc. in a deal valued at $7.3 billion, Aetna announced Monday.
The major insurer in the Philadelphia region will also take on CovenRESEARCH try’s debt as part of the deal. “Once the transaction is completed, our larger capThe state Department ital base also will enhance of Health issued Monday our ability to continue to about $3.5 million in invest in innovation, techgrants to four Philadel- nologies and capabilities phia groups: the Institute to lead the transformafor Hepatitis and Virus tion of the U.S. health Research, Thomas Jeffer- care industry,” said Mark son University, UE Life- T. Bertolini, Aetna’s chairSciences, Inc., and The man, CEO and president, in a statement. Wistar Institute.
Groups Awarded $3.5M in Grants
NEW JERSEY CASINOS PENNSYLVANIA GAMING
State Board Reports Better Numbers for July Gross revenue for table games across the state were almost 2 percent higher than the previous year, and the controlling board noted that there was an extra full weekend in July 2011. An average of 1,037 tables in daily operation in July brought in a gross revenue of $56,482,941, an increase of 1.8 percent compared to July 2011, according to the PA Gaming Control Board. The $7,485,074 in tax revenue was a 4 percent decrease compared to July 2011. The nine casinos that began table games in 2010 had a tax rate reduced by 2 percent. SugarHouse Casino (which began table games in September of 2010) and Valley Forge Casino Resort (table games opened March 2012) will continue to be taxed at a rate of 14 percent until their tables have been operational for two years.
Following Pressure From Pa., Revel Seeks Increased Credit Atlantic City’s newest casino got off to a bad start, and wants to increase its credit by about $70 million, according to The Associated Press. “Upon completion of this facility, we will have significant liquidity cushion through 2013 and beyond,” Revel CEO Kevin DeSanctis said in a statement. “We are excited about what we have delivered from a product and experience perspective, and remain confident our strategy and differentiated economic model will result in significant value creation for our stakeholders.” Atlantic City officials had hoped that the $2.4 billion casino resort would be a shot of adrenaline to the city as it tries to take back the title of America’s No. 2 gambling market from the state of Pennsylvania.
23 AUGUST 2012
WHO TO FOLLOW
GOTTA HAVE IT GADGET
Rendell Holds No Punches Former Pennsylvania Governor and Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell takes aim at the citizens and politicians of the United States for regularly failing to look past the next election in “A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great.” “Ed Rendell’s book is big-city politics at its best. It’s got the roar of the El, the stale cigar smoke of City Hall. Rendell writes with hoagie on his breath — or was that a Philly cheesesteak? It’s The Last Hurrah for the twenty-first century.” —Chris Matthews “Ed Rendell gives us more than a political memoir — his book is a fun, funny, and authentic account of a life spent in government, and a no-holds-barred argument for bold leadership in America.” —President Bill Clinton
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23 AUGUST 2012
EMPLOYEE BENEFITS INDUSTRY
Consulting Firms Create Collaborative Venture Five major employee benefit consulting firms have come together in the joint venture known as Collaboration Centric Solutions, or C2. Kistler Tiffany Benefits, of Berwyn, is working with McGohan Brabender, of Ohio, MHBT Inc., of Texas, The Partners Group, of Oregon, and William Gallagher Associates, founded in Boston, in order to “make the insurance industry and its products better,” said one founding member. The move offers regional customers access to resources from across the country but allows the founding firms to maintain independence. “Let’s pull a company together that’s locally built with national reach,” said Stewart T. Anmuth, vice president and principal at Kistler Tiffany Benefits. C2 is looking to continue expanding the partnership, adding perhaps five more companies to the collaboration in the next 24 months, Mr. Anmuth said. Prospective organization would need to be of a “significant” size, he said, and bring something to the table.
LET’S PULL A COMPANY TOGETHER THAT’S LOCALLY BUILT WITH NATIONAL REACH.’ —STEWART T. ANMUTH
Main Line Health joins Jefferson Network
Aker Ship Sale Worth $180M
Main Line Health and a Jefferson network are joining forces to offer Bryn Mawr Hospital patients access to Jefferson’s stroke center, Main Line Health announced this week. Bryn Mawr Hospital is the only hospital in the western suburbs to be affiliated with a university neuroscience center for stroke care, the Jefferson Neuroscience Network. Financial details were not released. “Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, but the leading cause of disability,” Dr. Grahame Gould, director of MLH Neurovascular Center at Bryn Mawr Hospital, said in a statement. “On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every three minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.” Jefferson’s stroke center includes community education programs, clinical trials and protocols for the detection and treatment of stroke, according to the statement. Patients will be able to undergo nonsurgical procedures after strokes at the center, then move to Bryn Mawr Hospital’s Neuro-Cardiac ICU — the region’s only such kind of treatment center.
Aker Philadelphia Shipyard sold two ships built “on spec” to a Jacksonville, Fla., firm for $90 million each, possibly more based on performance, Aker announced. The vessels, which Aker began building “for its own account” in 2011, will be delivered to Crowley Petroleum Services, Inc. this month and in February. Less than two years ago, the shipyard was at risk for closure. “We are pleased to partner with a first-class owner and operator like Crowley. Both APSI and Crowley share deep commitments to run safe and efficient operations, and I am confident that this transaction will bring significant value to both parties for years to come,” said Kristian Rokke, AKPS president and CEO, in a statement on the company’s website.
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23 AUGUST 2012
State Dems Lose Star Quickly, Quietly BY DINA SIRAVO-MCCAFFERY When Democrat Mike Gerber stepped onto the political scene it didn’t take long for him to be noticed. Dubbed by some as a “young star,” Rep. Gerber has represented Montgomery County’s 148th Legislative District for the past eight years. So his decision not to seek re-election may have come as a surprise, but not too many people seem to want to openly talk about it. The 39-year-old legislator announced in mid-July that he would be taking his name off the November ballot for re-election to a fifth term. After having served the district since 2004, the Whitpain Township father of three issued a statement that he had accepted a position in the private sector. Several requests for an interview with Rep. Gerber have gone unanswered. Noting the decision was “not an easy one,” Rep. Gerber said in his statement that effective August 20 he would be joining Franklin Square Capital Partners, a Philadelphia-based alternative investment firm, as senior vice president of public affairs, strategy and product administration. Pledging to fulfill his term, which is up at the end of this year, Rep. Gerber said “public service comes in many forms, and I look forward to remaining involved in it, just not as an elected official at this time.” He will also be leaving the law firm of Drinker, Biddle and Reath. Rep. Gerber won his last election with 62 percent of the vote, according to his campaign website. The 148th Legislative District covers all of Conshohocken and Narberth boroughs and Whitemarsh Township and sections of Lower Merion, Plymouth, Upper Dublin and Whitpain townships. “While leaving the state Legislature will be difficult, those who know me well know the demands and limitations of being a legislator often conflicted with my family obligations and aspirations,” he said. “My new position will allow me to draw upon my experiences as a lawyer, legislator, and trustee of our state’s retirement system, while being the kind of husband and father I aspire to be.”
I KNOW SOME FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES, SUPPORTERS, AND PARTY ENTHUSIASTS MIGHT BE DISAPPOINTED WITH MY DECISION, AND ITS TIMING.’ —MIKE GERBER
While Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman Marcel Groen was unavailable for comment, he has gone on record as saying he is surprised by Rep. Gerber’s decision but understands his move. “He was one of our young stars, he had great ideas and worked hard. He had an opportunity that is obviously good for his family.” According to a Democratic insider, Rep. Gerber’s timing has been criticized, as it could leave the nominee at a campaigning disadvantage and possibly jeopardize the Democratheld seat. In his statement Rep. Gerber said, “I do not view staying on the ballot and resigning after Election Day an ethical alternative, because I do not want to ask my constituents for their votes knowing I would not complete the next term” and “This timing assures there can be both a Democrat and Republican on the ballot this fall, and the seat will have representation at all times.” He added, “I know some friends, colleagues, supporters, and party enthusiasts might be disappointed with my decision, and its timing. I hope they respect the opportunity this presents for my family and appreciate the effort I have given to serving the Commonwealth and my district over the past eight years.” Shortly after Rep. Gerber’s announcement a special selection committee for the Montgomery County Democratic Committee (MCDC) began interviewing potential candidates. Last week, the committee made a formal recommendation to put Mary Jo Daley, of Narberth, on the ballot as the Democratic nominee for Rep. Gerber’s seat. The executive committee for the MCDC will now make a formal recommendation to the state executive committee, which will then have to approve Ms. Daley’s candidacy, according to Jeanne Sorg, assistant director for the MCDC. Ms. Sorg said she expects no anticipation of any problems with Ms. Daley being endorsed by the August 31 deadline. If approved by the MCDC and the state, Ms. Daley will likely face Republican Mike Ludwig in November. She could not immediately be reached for comment.
23 AUGUST 2012
CITY HALL & SUBURBS
Advisors Chosen For Possible Sale of PGW Philadelphia and Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) recently announced that a team of advisors had been chosen to assist in a possible sale of PGW within the next two years. Lazard and M.R. Beal, of New York, will act as financial advisors. Ballard Spahr, headquartered in Philadelphia will, along with The Smyler Firm and Andre Dasent, be the primary transaction advisors, including negotiating any agreement of sale on the city’s behalf. Other firms selected include Manko Gold, of Bala Cynwyd, for environmental law, and Hangley Aronchick, of Philadelphia, for litigation.
PHILADELPHIA ZONING CODE
MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMUNITY SERVICES
THE NEW ZONING CODE PROVIDES A ROAD MAP FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH, JOB CREATION, AND AN ENGAGED CITIZENRY TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF PHILADELPHIA.’ —ALAN GREENBERG, DEPUTY MAYOR FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CITY PLANNING COMMISSION IN WEDNESDAY’S INQUIRER
BUCKS COUNTY: DOYLESTOWN BOROUGH
Council Blocks Liquor License Transfer Doylestown Patch reported that the borough council unanimously voted to block the transfer of a liquor license from Bristol Borough in Lower Bucks County. Patch reported that more than 100 packed council chambers to hear debate for more than an hour and a half. If approved, the proposal would have led to a new club at the current Moose Home on State Street.
City’s Homeless Population Sees Slight Decrease The most recent Point in Time Homeless Count showed a decrease of 2 percent in the city street homeless population, according to the mayor’s office. Philadelphia now has the lowest documented ratio of unsheltered homeless to general population among major cities. Last summer, 601 homeless individuals were counted; 588 persons were counted living on the city streets this August. The city was recently honored at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference as one of 15 communities to house 2.5 percent of its chronic homeless population each month.
Commissioners Whittle Debt Down to $1.7M The Montgomery County Commissioners inherited a debt of about $10 million when they took office, but Chairman Josh Shapiro said recently that number has been reduced to about $1.7 million, The Times Herald reported. “What is important to know is that, when we took office, literally — the day we were sworn in — we were handed a $10 million deficit for this year,” he reportedly said. “We’ve whittled that down to $1.7 million, without mass layoffs, without mass program cuts.”
23 AUGUST 2012
Finally Time To Fill DeWeese’s Shoes The longtime Democratic state rep is in jail and his name is off the ballot, even if it’s not off the state House website. The party is rallying behind a longtime Greene County commissioner while the GOP senses an opportunity. BY MARY LOUISE DOYLE Fewer than 80 days remain until the next election day and since April, the counties of Greene, Fayette and Washington in western Pennsylvania have been without voting power or legislative representation. Former Representative William “Bill” DeWeese’s website indicates he’s resigned his seat, but, until last week, his name was still on the November ballot. He survived more than 30 years in office, but not without controversy, including a seemingly interminable investigation by nowGovernor Tom Corbett. Despite plenty of loyalists, DeWeese is currently serving a sentence of 2 1/2 to five years after being convicted of using state employees and resources to aid in his re-election efforts. He insisted he would run for re-election in November, but Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley removed his name from the ballot, opening the doors for a candidate to be represented.” to be named to replace him. Ms. Snyder should have no On Saturday, the Democratic problem gaining the immediState Committee unanimously anointed his replacement, ate support of DeWeese supGreene County Commissioner porters in an area known as a Pam Snyder, who just started PEOPLE AREN’T bastion of Democratic solidarher third term as commissioner HAPPY AROUND ity that has been represented and has been chairman of that by a Democrat since it was HERE AND MY board for her entire tenure. She created in 1969. also served as a senior aide to U.S. PHONE RINGS OFF If elected, she would be the Rep. Frank Mascara from 1994 to THE HOOK WITH first woman to represent the 2002. district. PEOPLE ASKING Ms. Snyder, 56, ran against HOW THEY CAN However, Republicans see DeWeese two years ago, but fell a concoction of political scanHELP. THEY WANT dal, corruption and hometown short in the primary. She garnered CHANGE’ about 40 percent of the vote. upheaval, which they believe DeWeese also withstood a pri- —MARK FISCHER might create an opportunity. Mark Fischer, a Republimary challenge in 2006 after the “Bonusgate” issue. can Waynesborough (where The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette DeWeese was a resident) quoted Ms. Snyder as saying she wasn’t going councilman and son of a local coal miner, will to dwell on DeWeese’s missteps. face Ms. Snyder in November. “We cannot look back and have to look “Turmoil changes things. People aren’t ahead,” the paper quoted her as saying. “This happy around here and my phone rings off the seat belongs to the people and they are ready hook with people asking how they can help,”
he said. “They want change.” “We haven’t gone forward on employment, business development or growth,” he said. “We need to develop our business community through the energy industry, we have the opportunity to do it.” Mr. Fischer was 14 years old when DeWeese first took office. His dad is a longtime Democrat who said he will be voting for his Republican son in November and plans on bringing plenty of other coal miners on board to help. Going counter to the stereotype, Democrats won’t be able to play the union card in this race. Mr. Fischer was president of the local International Association of Firefighters, and his father is still a member of the local coal miner’s union. Until November, residents of these western Pennsylvania counties will get this message from DeWeese’s website: “Rep. DeWeese resigned his seat as state representative. His Waynesburg and Hiller offices will remain open to serve constituents. Please call or visit the offices if you need help with a state-related matter.”
Despite challenges, some within his own party, William “Bill” DeWeese, shown above giving his farewell speech in Harrisburg on April 3, held his seat for more than 30 years. Corruption led to scandal which led to prison. Democrats are turning to Greene County Commissioner Pam Snyder to hold on to the seat once held by DeWeese.
23 AUGUST 2012
RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE
Lawmakers Demand More Transparency From PSU
Ryan Stumps in West Chester
Eyes Turn to Supreme Court After Latest Voter ID Ruling
THIRTY-EIGHT PERCENT OF PENNSYLVANIA SENIORS CHOSE TO GET THEIR MEDICARE FROM A PLAN CALLED MEDICARE ADVANTAGE. IT’S THEIR CHOICE. FORTY-SEVEN PERCENT OF THEM ARE GOING TO LOSE IT UNDER OBAMACARE ...’
government-issued The verdict is in, but a photo ID. That perfinal ruling on Pennsylvacentage is higher for nia’s Republican-pushed students, seniors and Voter ID law is still a long minorities. time coming. Supporters of the In an anticipated decilegislation say that it sion last week, Commonwould prevent future wealth Court Judge Robcases of voter fraud. ert Simpson upheld the Commonwealth Court In his 70-page law by refusing to grant Judge Robert Simpson opinion, Mr. Simpson an injunction that would said the plaintiffs did stop it from taking effect. When making his decision, not meet three of the six criteria Judge Simpson said, he focused needed to gain the injunction. Voter ID opponents — includon the law’s constitutionality. During the seven-day trial, the ing the American Civil Liberties defense argued the law deprived Union — appealed and asked the Pennsylvanians their right to state Supreme Court to schedule vote. According to the Brennan the case for September 10. The Center for Justice, approximate- Pennsylvania Office of the Attorly 12 percent of the country’s ney General suggested the court eligible voters may not have a hear the case in mid-October.
Since the Penn State child sexual abuse scandal first came to light in March of 2011, state lawmakers have offered a range of suggestions to prevent a similar situation from happening again. The latest from Harrisburg: The need for transparency at the state-related universities — Penn State, Temple, Lincoln and Pitt. Because these schools are not state schools, there is no mandate for them to reveal any information to the state, aside from figures made public on IRS 990 forms.
State Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D -19th District), minority chairman of the Senate Education Committee, wants change. “I believe Penn State and the other staterelateds should have to comply with the Right to Know law and be totally transparent in how they spend state money,” Sen. Dinniman said. “If they don’t like it, then they can just say no to taxpayer funding.” That change, he said, could take place for the state-related schools as early as this fall.
—PAUL RYAN, IN WEST CHESTER TUESDAY
23 AUGUST 2012
GREATER PHILADELPHIA TOURISM MARKETING CORPORATION
New Campaign Targets Millenials Recognizing a generational gap when it comes to interest in the arts, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation has heralded a $2 million campaign set on attracting millenials to the city’s art scene, using social media. The corporation hopes to maintain and, if possible, grow the 500,000 people who visit museums on an average day, a significant draw for tourists visiting the city
and, as such, a substantial source of revenue. Dubbed the “With Art Partnership,” the campaign will have cost $650,000 between May and December, involving late-night art events and non-traditional, youthoriented art experiences like walks through nature, in addition to a hefty amount of social media strategies through web-based tools such as Foursquare and Facebook.
LOWER BUCKS CHAMBER
Chamber Members Receive Annual Awards The Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce recognized four members of its chamber at its Volunteer Recognition event with the annual “Shot in the Arm with Enthusiasm” awards.
This year’s recipients included: Kellyann Schaefer (Task Complete), Jessica Sweeney (First Federal of Bucks County), Dana Dobson (The Writer) and Lynn D. Goodwin (Photos by Lynn Goodwin).
PHILADELPHIA CONVENTION VISITORS BUREAU VISIT BUCKS COUNTY
Visitors Center Displaying Local Artists’ Work Visit Bucks County has funneled much of its recent energy and resources into promoting arts and entertainment in the region by demonstrating Bucks County’s knack for artistic flair with a prominent display of 70 quilts at the Visit Bucks County Center, organized by Bucks County locals. The display marked the eighth annual occurrence of the show, which runs through September 23 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week. The tourism marketing agency has also embraced social media promotions.
Bureau Responds to Decision to Consider Privatization T he Philadelphia Convention Visitors Bureau, which is tasked with booking events for the taxpayer-funded Philadelphia Convention Center, offered a tepid endorsement of a decision reached by the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority board to investigate privatizing parts of the center. Jack Ferguson “Whatever it takes to deliver a positive experience for our customers and their attendees, exhibitors, and stakeholders is what we are in favor of,” Jack Ferguson, head of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Convention Center Authority board is in the process of seeking companies capable of efficiently managing unspecified aspects of the convention center’s operations.
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Craft Executive Branding Through LinkedIn
LinkedIn profile writer and social media strategist Donna Serdula is the author of the popular book LinkedIn Makeover: Professional Secrets to a POWERFUL LinkedIn Profile. Learn more about her at LinkedIn-makeover.com.
Your LinkedIn profile sucks. Yet as an executive, you know that how you present yourself is integral to how people perceive you. You see, in the 21st century, with billions of people logging on to the internet every day, your online presence is your digital introduction and first impression with the world. Your reputation as a proven, high-performing leader is directly related to your future earning potential. Creating buzz around your professional accomplishments is tantamount in this technology-driven world. Yet your LinkedIn profile doesn’t showcase your accomplishments. You know people are Googling you. If you don’t have any search results for your name, what have you accomplished? Nothing. If your LinkedIn profile doesn’t showcase your skills and portray you as a polished professional you are letting the ultimate opportunity just slip away. It is not enough just to say you have a skill. You need to prove it with a digital footprint that showcases your accomplishments and achievements!
What makes a LinkedIn profile impressive? Simply copying and pasting your out-of-date resume isn’t the path to a POWERFUL LinkedIn profile. You need to present yourself in a way that inspires, impresses and builds confidence in your abilities, products and services. What Does Your LinkedIn Profile Say About You? A LinkedIn profile is the window into your leadership style and a compendium of your business and career results. A missing profile picture says: I don’t take my professional image seriously. A professionally taken profile picture says: I take pride in how I look and strive to present myself well. A missing summary or a summary copied and pasted from a resume says: I am not creative. My communication skills are lacking. A complete summary, written in first person as a narrative says: I am interesting, creative and am able to communicate easily. Incomplete experiences say: I don’t value my background and have not made an impact on
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my past companies. Complete experiences with accomplishments and results listed says: I am proud of what I have accomplished. I am proud of where I have worked and I am a results-oriented person. No recommendations means: I don’t stand out from the crowd, and people are not impressed with my results. More than three recommendations means: I pride myself on doing my job well. I help and inspire people. It’s time to step up and optimize your LinkedIn profile so you can stand out from the crowd and take charge of your executive brand. It’s a different world out there. It’s all about putting forth a professional image that showcases what you’ve done and what you can do. Your image spans more than just your resume. Gain control and brand yourself online. It is time to embrace the new world out there — the ONLINE world — and put this powerful medium to work for you by shaping a strong digital identity.
23 AUGUST 2012
Problems with headline-grabbing crime, chronically challenged schools and ongoing labor unrest are not enough to damper enthusiasm about the area’s future, especially the city, which is enjoying a construction boom to accompany a growing - yes, growing - population.
BY ELISSA VALLANO
hiladelphia is not a city without challenges. Persistent crime, struggling public schools, and underfunded transit are just a few of the issues weighing on the minds of local residents and business owners, and the city has much to overcome in order to achieve its potential for greatness. But despite ample cause for concern, there is a contagious feeling of optimism among Philadelphia’s leaders. In Regions Business’ two-part series, Philadelphia’s power players discuss problems and possibilities as the city tries to compete on the world stage. Part One: Strengthening the Core
Edward G. Rendell FORMER PHILADELPHIA MAYOR, PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR
“I think the city is in very good shape,” former Governor Edward G. Rendell said. “And it’s one of the few American cities to actually grow in population.” The Census Bureau’s latest data indicates Philadelphia has undergone quite a growth spurt. And while that was mainly due to an increase in births, that in and of itself is a positive sign that more parents are choosing to raise children in the city - particularly downtown. The Center City District reports that 20,553 children were born between 2000 and 2010 to parents in the area bounded by Girard Avenue to the north, Tasker Street to the south, the Delaware River to the east and the Schuylkill to the west. The city has also seen an estimated net increase of 6,208 people moving here from outside the United States - another strong asset to the city. “The good thing about that growth is that it comes from three sectors, and all of them are very valuable,” Mr. Rendell said. “Immigrants are very helpful. They add vitality to the workforce. Secondly, there are empty nesters. The train of empty nesters that started during my time as mayor, that train is continuing to run, and it’s adding new cars each year. And they’re great consumers.
And the third group is young people.” Mr. Rendell understands the importance of attracting young people to Philadelphia and how that is shaping the future of the city. “I think the progress Mayor Nutter is making in turning us into a green city is very important for improving the quality of life and attracting young people to live in Philadelphia,” he said. “It’s good economic sense too, because green jobs are going to be the growth jobs in the next 25 years. And the mayor has put terrific emphasis on greening the city in so many different ways.” He also notes that the city has its challenges challenges he is more than familiar with having dealt with them firsthand as mayor himself. “Obviously, there’s a real short-term problem with crime,” Mr. Rendell said. “It’s too prevalent in the neighborhoods and even downtown, and we’ve got to get ahold of it. It’s not just manpower, though manpower plays an important role. It’s finding more ways to effectively police.” And like many who echoed the same sentiment, Mr. Rendell believes education should also be a top priority for the city. “In this brouhaha over the school district’s funding, what’s been forgotten is the kids in the first decade of this century have made substantial progress,” Mr. Rendell said. “It’s important to continue to improve the educational product, which is going to take money. And with the recession and reduced funding in the state, it’s not easy.” Mr. Rendell said that while taxes play a large factor in encouraging businesses to come to Philadelphia, their impact is not as prevalent for the city’s main driving force: population growth.
VISIONS OF A WORLD-
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The Man With The (5-Year) Plan With the recent costly arbitration award for firefighters, Mayor Michael Nutter’s five year plan for the city of Philadelphia is in danger of being rejected by the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA). If city officials are not able to submit a plan PICA can approve, it could lose $300 million in state funding. The rejection would be unprecedented and have wide-reaching ramifications across city sectors. The highlights of the current plan, with a focus on 2013, are: :\hffbmf^gmh_-'*fbeebhgmhabk^\ehl^mh-))g^p police officers by the end of FY13 and—while accounting for the effects of attrition—to maintain a strength of 6,500 uniformed officers on the police force over the course of the Five Year Plan. 2')fbeebhg_hkma^]^lb`gh_Zg^piheb\^a^Z]jnZkm^kl% \bmrfhk`n^Zg]a^Zemahù\^l\h&eh\Zm^]Zm-/)*FZkd^m Lmk^^m'Mablpbee[^ma^\bmrÌlÕklmg^piheb\^a^Z]jnZkm^kl in 50 years. Mhbg\k^Zl^_ng]bg`mh/'0fbeebhgbg?R*,_hkbfikho^ments to six police stations and 11 fire houses. :+)fbeebhgbgo^lmf^gmho^kmphr^Zkl_hkma^]^lb`g Zg]k^]^o^ehif^gmh_Eho^IZkd'Mablikhc^\mpbee\k^Zm^ an accessible green space connecting the redeveloped =bephkma IeZsZ pbma ma^ k^obmZebs^] ;^gcZfbg ?kZgdebg IZkdpZr' 0fbeebhg[n]`^m^]_hkmak^^r^Zkl_hkg^b`a[hkahh] library branch capital investments, the Neighborhood Library Improvement Program, which will be leveraged to attract additional private investment. Ma^\bmrpbeechbgZiZkmg^klabipbma<abe]k^gÌlAhlibmZe of Philadelphia to build a brand new, multi-million dollar health center in South Philadelphia. The partnership will lZo^mZqiZr^kl_khfma^\hlmh_Z0fbeebhgk^ghoZmbhghk *)fbeebhgk^[nbe]h_A^Zema<^gm^k+' *'*fbeebhgbg\k^Zl^bg_ng]bg`mhma^Hù\^h_Ikhi^kty Assessment to assist with their overhaul of the property assessment system scheduled to be completed in fall 2012. ?hkma^Õklmmbf^%ma^\bmrpbee\k^Zm^ZMkZù\lHi^kZtions Center and Streets Department engineers will [^`bgmhfhgbmhkfZgrh_ma^\bmrÌld^rmkZo^e\hkkb]hkl and modify traffic signal timing plans to respond to real time traffic conditions. Ng_hkmngZm^er%fZgraZo^mZd^gblln^pbmama^ current plan and its potential inconsistencies. PhilZ]^eiabZ<bmr<hgmkhee^k:eZg;nmdhobmsaZl[^^g the most vocal about his opposition to the plan and has called for PICA to reject it. The major criticisms include: Ma^ieZgho^klmZm^]^qi^g]bmnk^l[rZiikhqbfZm^er
2)fbeebhg_hk]^[ml^kob\^ ?bk^Õ`am^klÌngbhgkZbl^l\hne]\hlmma^\bmr+))fbelion over the next five years, which is unaccounted for in the plan. City officials are appealing the decision, despite two previous failed attempts to do so. <bmrphkd^klaZo^ghmk^\^bo^]ZkZbl^bg_hnklr^Zkl Zg]aZo^phkd^]pbmahnm\hgmkZ\ml4ma^\nkk^gmieZg_Zbel to account for these expenses, does not include the costs of future contracts, and is reliant on $50 million in savbg`l_khfÉ:gmb\biZm^]Phkd_hk\^LZobg`lÊmaZmZk^ghm guaranteed. Ma^L\ahhe=blmkb\mh_IabeZ]^eiabZfZr[^ma^fhlm affected. It’s already battling a structural deficit of more than $1 billion over the next five years, leaving it on the [kbgdh_bglheo^g\r K^o^gn^_hkma^g^piheb\^]^iZkmf^gma^Z]jnZkm^kl% city morgue and health offices are allotted in the city’s general fund. The plan’s opponents say these expenditures should be budgeted and recorded in the city’s capital projects fund. Considering Philadelphia is already grappling with funding issues, losing $300 million from the state has alarmed many city officials and residents. But if the city is able to revise the plan and obtain approval, improvements for the \bmr\Zgfho^_hkpZk]&mahn`afhlmebd^erhgZfhk^ebfited basis than originally anticipated. *Region’s Busig^ll k^jn^lm^] Zg interview with Mayor Nutter for this article, but he was unable to participate.
23 AUGUST 2012
“The movement into the city started during my time as mayor, and we were cutting taxes,” Mr. Rendell said. “Under John Street and Michael Nutter, taxes have gone up, and that movement is still continuing. So while the taxes are a factor for business, I don’t think they’re a factor for the people I talked about.” Not that Philadelphia’s government shouldn’t be more fiscally responsible, he said. In fact, Mr. Rendell would like to see a stronger emphasis placed on reining in the city’s budget. “I know the mayor has been battling with this,” he said. “We have to find a way to reduce our expenditures without necessarily hurting services. Then take that money and use it in a way that we don’t have to keep raising taxes on business. That’s very important.” Mr. Rendell also hopes to further encourage the building boom in Philadelphia. “I would like to see more incentives,” he said. “And I know it’s not a great time for the city in terms of money, but I could see us coming up with creative incentives for business development. In doing that, we need to continue to partner with the state. The building boom right now, about 75 percent of the projects have state funding in them.” Tourism also plays a pivotal role in any city’s economy, and Mr. Rendell was quick to praise Philadelphia’s efforts to attract visitors. “They are continuing our two-decade rise as a destination city,” he said. “The city has an array of arts and culture venues that are helping us become the number one tourist spot for high-end arts and culture tourists. That’s a valuable tool, which is why we all worked so hard while I was governor to bring the Barnes to the Parkway. I think that’s going to trigger a lot of growth. And we need to continue to do that in the historic sector.”
Al Taubenberger GREATER NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT
“Philadelphia has a reputation for being a high-tax city, clearly making it difficult for businesses to grow in,” Al Taubenberger, president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, said. “In reality, it probably isn’t that bad. But every time city council talks about taxes - whether they enact them or not - they add to the reputation of being a highly taxed city.” An outdated tax structure has been
WE HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO REDUCE OUR EXPENDITURES WITHOUT ... HURTING SERVICES.’ —EDWARD G. RENDELL
BRINGING GUN VIOLENCE UNDER CONTROL IS A CONSTANT CHALLENGE... ’ —CHARLES RAMSEY
PHILADELPHIA HAS A REPUTATION FOR BEING A HIGH-TAX CITY.’ —AL TAUBENBERGER
a major concern among the city’s business leaders for years. Job growth and revitalizing the regional economy is a top priority for all Philadelphians, but current conditions have made it difficult to attract new business. “When you talk to an accountant and I don’t care where that is - and you want to talk about starting a business in the Philadelphia area, they’ll direct you outside the city,” Mr. Taubenberger said. “That adds to the whole antibusiness climate of Philadelphia. I find that unfortunate, but some of it is true. We’ve had three years of increase for real estate tax, a business tax that’s going up again. I think it’s time for those taxes to be stopped.” Mr. Taubenberger also weighed in on another issue at the forefront of people’s minds - public safety. “One obstacle is the rate of crime in Philadelphia, particularly murders,” he said. “In most cases, not all, but in most cases, the victims know each other. It’s not like people are being attacked randomly, but they add to the collective fear that this might not be a safe city.” Despite these challenges, Mr. Taubenberger was quick to highlight the many assets working in Philadelphia’s favor. “We’re very conveniently located between the financial capital of the world and the United States capital,” he said. “We have a diversity of people. Any ethnic group is represented, and not just by a few people, but many, many people. We’re a great cultural center. Our colleges and universities, and our arts and culture are some of the finest in the nation. And I think we have some of the greatest restaurants in North America, maybe even the world.” The current job forecast and financial conditions can be disheartening to local residents, but Mr. Taubenberger sees opportunity. “It’s just a good place to do business because you’re smack dab in the middle of everything that’s important to this country, and you have a good workforce that’s ready and eager to go to work,” he said. With all of these tools in its arsenal, it seems as though Philadelphia is poised for a business revolution - as long as the necessary changes can be made. “Our economy in Philadelphia has always been one of great diversity, so when other areas get stagnated, ours always seems to do a little better,” Mr. Taubenberger said. “The housing collapse wasn’t as dramatic in Philadelphia
23 AUGUST 2012
IF WE WANT TO MAINTAIN THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OF LOCATION, WE HAVE TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO ACCESS.’ —MERYL LEVITZ
as it was in other cities, so that’s also sound for business. But our taxes have to decrease, even if it’s the smallest, minutest amount. That would be a very strong signal that Philadelphia is open and wants to business.”
Charles Ramsey PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISSIONER
“Bringing gun violence under control is a constant challenge for us,” Commissioner Charles Ramsey said. “Pennsylvania has very weak gun lawns, and certainly as a result of that, we have what I believe to be a level of gun violence that is unacceptable.” Crime has been one of Philadelphia’s most immovable obstacles. Out of the nation’s 10 largest cities, Philadelphia has the highest homicide rate according to 2010 FBI statistics. Last year ended with 324 homicides - up from 306 from 2010 - and this year had already seen 207 by the end of July. Unfortunately, it’s not just gun violence plaguing the city; there have been more than 10,000 violent offenses so far this year, including more than 550 rapes and more than 5,000 aggravated assaults. How that is affecting the city’s growth is more difficult to quantify. “Public safety does have an impact on
any city and its ability to attract resi2012: A DEADLY YEAR dents and businesses. But having said that, we’ve made a lot of progress in Homicides that area,” Mr. Ramsey said. “I don’t increase know if we ever get to a place where After three years of relative, we feel like we’re safe enough, but we though still deadly, stability need to continue to push forward and in regard to the homicide be as safe as we can possibly be.” rate, as of August 22, Before Mr. Ramsey came to Philathere have been delphia in 2008, he served as chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia for nine years and spent 30 years as a member of the Chicago Police Department. homicides in Philadelphia in Like Philadelphia, Chicago has also 2012. At this rate, more than been battling surges in violent crime. 350 people will have been “There are some cities in the counkilled by the end of the year try that have seen spikes in crime,” which would be the most Mr. Ramsey said. “But you have to since 2007. remember that crime rates across this country are lowest they’ve been since the 1960s. Those are the kind of numbers you’re going up against. The economic downturn has had an impact on budgets. As a result, there have been some cutbacks. So it’s not surprising we’re starting to see some crime numbers creep back up.” As for the future, Philadelphia police have embraced social media to combat crime and increase public awareness. “I believe very strongly in the use of social media to reach out and touch people,” he said. “And we’ve been very aggressive in that area and proud to say that Philadelphia is a leader in the country in terms of its use of social media.” Mr. Ramsey cited the attempted kidnapping of a 10-year-old girl
Tensions Mount Between Unions, Developers Development in Philadelphia is heating up again after a long period of hibernation, but it’s not smooth sailing for companies choosing to defy the city’s powerful unions. The Goldtex site in the Loft District - a project led by brothers Matthew, 35, and Michael Pestronk, 31 - has been battling union protesters since March. The apartment developers and brothers chose to use mostly nonunion labor for their project, and since it is privately funded, they are under no legal obligation to hire union. Michael Pestronk said they offered 40 percent of the jobs to union workers, but the unions allegedly refused unless the Pestronks agreed to go 100 percent union. The Goldtex fiasco is just one example of developer/union animosity plaguing Philadelphia. Developers have long argued that union influence over building sites paired with their hefty
price tag will continually outweigh any potential profit. Unions counter that without representation, they will see wages slashed to minimum wage levels and their benefits disappear. According to the Pestronk brothers’ website, PhillyBully.com, the Philadelphia Carpenters Union required a $63 an hour wage, which far exceeds the market rate. The union says it pays its workers $35-45 an hour, which would still be higher than the hourly union rate in Washington, D.C. Despite having to hire a private security force to protect the project and supplies from protesters, the
developers say they are saving 25 percent with nonunion workers. The union debate is a source of constant ire for both sides, and many are keeping a close eye on the Goldtex site feud. Philadelphia is America’s oldest and most enduring union town, but attitudes toward the once-untouchable unions have been shifting in recent years. In 2008’s “The Last Union Town,” Philadelphia magazine writer Matthew Teague said unions “have entwined themselves into the
material of the city, so that the very idea of introducing a free market has become almost unspeakable.” In its own reporting of the Pestronks, The Philadelphia Daily News printed “Developers Take On Thuggish Philly Unions” on the front page. The Goldtex site is being considered a major battle in the developer/union war. If the Pestronk brothers succeed with their build, many developers could follow suit in hiring primarily nonunion workers for future projects. If they fail, unions will maintain their dominance. Meanwhile, Philadelphia development hangs in the balance.
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Iconic 30th Street Station would no longer be the epicenter of the Philadelphia rail universe if a new high-speed rail plan becomes a reality.
R. KENNEDY FOR GPTMC
Some Love For SEPTA, Maybe New Life For Rail There haven’t been many noticeable upgrades to the SEPTA system. A few new cars here and there, an occasional remodeled station. But for the most part, SEPTA has stood still due to budget constraints - though the future is looking brighter for the troubled transit system. New Payment Technologies (NPT) is SEPTA's latest and most innovative project to date. It’s a new automated electronic fare payment system that will replace magnetic cards, paper tickets and metal tokens. The system allows riders to pay their fares directly through a variety of contact-free options like credit or debit cards, government benefit cards, ID cards, smart phones and other devices. NPT, which will be rolled out gradually over the course of three years, will transform the currently outdated, cash-centric system into an industry leader. Local retail outlets will carry SEPTA’s pre-paid card, and a registration process will protect riders from the financial loss of a lost or stolen card. In addition to the excitement over NPT, SEPTA was awarded the 2012 “Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award" by the American Public Transporta-
tion Association (APTA) last month. SEPTA was singled out for its efforts to enhance service, efficiencies and overall effectiveness among a category that included dozens of North American transit systems. "We are thrilled to receive this award and honored that our peers in the transit agency have singled out SEPTA's achievements for recognition," SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey said. "I am so proud of the members of the SEPTA team, who are committed to serving our customers and fulfilling our mission to improve the environment, facilitate economic growth and sustain the quality of life in our region. This recognition is a testament to their dedication, enthusiasm and innovative spirit." SEPTA pushing forward despite financial cuts is a beacon of hope for residents, tourists and local businesses. A seamless, streamlined payment system will increase efficiency and more easily promote tourism and commerce. With one of the city's greatest advantages being location, a thriving SEPTA will mean a stronger Philadelphia - as long as it can keep up this unexpected momentum.
More riders & revenue SEPTA had 339.3 million rider trips in the fiscal year ending in June. That represented a
increase in ridership, the highest total in more than 20 years.
Market East Eyed As High-Speed Hub Federal planners were in town recently as part of a nine-city tour, gathering feedback on a plan to revitalize the aging rail corridor that connects Washington D.C. and Boston. Preliminary plans are due this coming spring and the discussion and planning phase could take three years, but talk is centering on highspeed trains and, with that, new stations. There’s talk that high-speed trains would connect with Philadelphia through the Market East station, rather than venerable 30th Street Station. The reasons revolve around logistics as travel in and out of 30th Street would slow down the high-speed trains. If implemented, travelers could get from New York City to Center City Philadelphia in little more than an hour.
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last month as an example of the department’s success with its social media initiatives. After heavily publicizing a video of the attack, tips began rolling in, and police had a person in custody within 24 hours. “It has exceeded my expectations,” Mr. Ramsey said. “I certainly recognize its power and potential, and we’d be foolish not to tap into that.” Mr. Ramsey probably has more reason than anybody to feel frustrated with Philadelphia and the direction it’s headed, but his outlook on the city and its future is remarkably positive. “I’ve actually grown very fond of Philadelphia. I feel like a part of Philadelphia,” he said. “The history is rich, and it’s a vibrant city. There are a lot of things Philly has to offer that, until you come here, you don’t really realize it.”
Meryl Levitz PRESIDENT & CEO AT GREATER PHILADELPHIA TOURISM MARKETING CORPORATION
Thanks to an arsenal of historic attractions and cultural institutions, regional tourism has been consistently strong, currently worth $8.2 billion and accounting for more than 83,000 jobs annually. Tourism is a vital component to any city, but it’s especially integral to Philadelphia’s growth. “It gives us a voice, a brand, a color, a starting point, a calling card,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of Greater Philadelphia
Tourism Marketing Corporation. “It also supplies jobs year-round and keeps the attractions within the city healthy by pulling through that last 30 percent of tickets, sponsorships and attendance.” While other industries have struggled or remained stagnant in a crippled economy, regional tourism has flourished. According to the GPTMC, Philadelphia has seen a 55 percent increase in overnight leisure tourism, growing from 7.3 million visitors in 1997 to 11.35 million in 2009. “In the last 20 years, we’ve become an overnight sensation,” Ms. Levitz said. “I think there’s a novelty to the city for many people, including New Yorkers, many of whom had never come here before. We’re not a one-trick pony. They can come here - usually triggered by a festival or special event - and they can extend their interests through art, music, outdoor dining. I think they get so much for their money in terms of manageability. The ability to bundle Philadelphia is a real point of attraction for them.” Despite its successes, Philadelphia’s tourism industry is not without its own set of challenges. Ms. Levitz, a former teacher, shares many of her colleagues’ concern over the state of the city’s public schools. But she also highlighted another issue more directly affecting her industry - public transportation. “I feel that Philadelphia hasn’t necessarily kept up with the different modes that other cities have been adapting,” she said, making
particular note of light rail. “And I worry that one of our competitive advantages - our location - might not continue to be an advantage if we don’t start connecting ourselves both inside and with the region. If we want to maintain the competitive advantage of location, we have to pay more attention to access.” Like with other industries, such as public transit, lack of funding has been an issue. “Philadelphia does not have an in-house, powerful advertiser like Disney,” Ms. Levitz explained. “We’re many wonderful things, but we don’t have those big commercial houses within Philadelphia to do a lot of advertising and packaging on our behalf. So keeping the funding level competitive with other destinations, not only locally and in the country and in the world, is a big challenge.” Ms. Levitz highlighted New York and Las Vegas for understanding who they are as cit-
All in a day’s work at PHL A typical weekday at the airport includes: ! 620 departures to 123 cities. PHL is the 12th busiest airport in the world. ! 55 nonstop flights to 36 international cities. Frankfurt, Germany and London are the top international destinations. - (PHL)
New Leader In Place, Struggling Schools To Make Dramatic Changes The state of Philadelphia’s school system weighs heavily on the minds of many residents and leaders. The district is nearing insolvency, and its standardized test scores are below most other major U.S. cities. It’s also battling competition from charter schools, often preferred by families who question the efficiency and safety of the city’s public schools. “A huge portion of our population is undereducated and underprepared for the 21st Century economy,” Paul Levy, founding president of the Center City District, said. “That alone accounts for an extraordinarily high poverty rate. It affects the politics of the city, and it defines a lot of the points of friction that are in the city today.” Back in April, recovery officials announced plans to the Philadelphia
Inquirer that would “close 40 schools next year and 64 by 2017, move thousands more students to charters, and dismantle the central office in favor of ‘achievement networks’ that would compete to run groups of 25 schools and would sign performancebased contracts.” The bold moves might not be enough to save a ship that’s been left adrift for too long, so they’ve turned to a new leader. The School Reform Commission recently granted William R. Hite Jr. - the city’s new school superintendent - a $300,000 annual paycheck accompanied by a five-year contract. Despite the sizable salary, it’s still $48,000 less than that of Mr. Hite’s predecessor, Arlene C. Ackerman. But with the district having to borrow an additional $218 million on top of its $2.5 billion budget to
operate in 2012-13 - and with future funding still up in the air - all eyes will be on Mr. Hite to make a substantial difference in the ailing school system. He’s set to start October 1. The effect of the city’s struggling schools on other facets of the city, particularly crime and unemployment, is acute. And while Philadelphia is strong in attracting young people and empty nesters, what about families with school-age children? It’s a necessary demographic for any successful city and one that Philadelphia has been lacking. And despite the popularity of charters, many have academic rankings similar to their public counterparts. One thing seems to be certain though failure is not an option for the Philadelphia School District.
A HUGE PORTION OF OUR POPULATION IS UNDEREDUCATED AND UNDERPREPARED FOR THE 21ST CENTURY ECONOMY.’ —PAUL LEVY
23 AUGUST 2012
ies and applying that successfully to their tourism campaigns, but they are already established US destinations. Philadelphia has to be more unconventional in its approach to woo visitors and residents alike. “What keeps the city vibrant is population flow,” Ms. Levitz said. “We’ve been able to build population for one of the first chunks of time in recent memory, and these are people who are interested in community and involvement, who are a good match for what we have here in terms of food, wine, arts, culture, history, education, and wellness.” As for Philadelphia’s calling card? Ms. Levitz didn’t hesitate in calling out the city’s most distinctive personality trait. “People still refer to it as Philadelphia attitude,” she said. “There is a Philadelphia pride, and I think people find that really appealing. It’s very engaging to people. The word you hear is ‘genuine.’ People find Philadelphians genuine, and that is hard to find in the world sometimes. That probably comes through in how we approach what we do.”
Joseph M. Casey GENERAL MANAGER AT SEPTA
There have been few industries hit harder by the economy than public transit, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is no exception. Aging infrastructure and much-needed repairs have been put on the back burner due to lack of capital funding, and budget constraints have hurt not only the company, but also the region’s residents and businesses. “There are two factors businesses look for when they talk about relocating,” Joseph M. Casey, general manager at SEPTA, said. “One is an educated workforce, but the other is public transportation.” Mr. Casey is well aware of the importance of public transportation in attracting businesses to the region. He considers a lack of job growth the greatest challenge facing the region, but he praises the may-
or’s vision. “We have to create more jobs and attract businesses to the region,” Mr. Casey said, noting that Mayor Michael Nutter “has long been a proponent of regionalism, and with the metropolitan caucus, he would prefer businesses relocate to Philadelphia. And if they don’t, the next best option is to relocate to the region. That approach is a great one.” Unfortunately, funding issues have stifled SEPTA’s ambitions. The company has a long to-do list for improvements and upgrades, but not nearly enough money to effectively improve the system and elevate its regional status. “That is the biggest obstacle facing us and our future,” Mr. Casey said. “And it’s not just public transit, it’s also the highways. I think we have a public transportation problem in Pennsylvania. I could go on and on about our aging infrastructure, but the highways also have issues. If you look at I-95, that has to be reconstructed. And the price tag is tens of billions of dollars just to fix that, and there are no resources to do so. The airport also. It’s time to reinvest in these assets. Our grandfathers built the system, and it’s now for us to rebuild it for future generations.” Mr. Casey said, though, that SEPTA plans to live within its means. “SEPTA will not incur, and our Board will not allow us to incur, deficit spending,” he said. Controlling expenses by reducing labor costs isn’t a simple solution, either. “Transit is a labor-intensive operation and labor costs represent a significant portion of our operating budget,” he said. “We have always negotiated reasonable contracts that fit into our budget projections. We will continue to negotiate labor contracts which are financially prudent and, at the same time, preserve benefits and wages that attract quality personnel.” SEPTA isn’t the only East Coast public transportation system struggling with age, but it’s certainly a nagging issue. Though sometimes it’s about taking the good with the bad. “What you find with the newer cities
“WE HAVE TO THINK BIG; WE WIN WITH AN ATTITUDE LIKE THAT. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.” —JACK FERGUSON
in a day,” Mr. Ferguout west, they would kill to have a transportation sysson said, adding that “I’d like to put glue tem that we have in Philaon (visitors’) shoes so delphia,” Mr. Casey said. they stay one or two “As a matter of fact, they’re nights.” amassing billions and bilSo strategies are lions of dollars to emulate being implemented to what we have here. The highlight all the area difference is, ours is 100 has to offer. showcasyears old. We’re severely undercapitalized in Philaing cultural venues and entertainment delphia, so we’re faced options. That is a chalwith spending our limited capital dollars into rebuildlenge, because as Mr. ing the infrastructure while OUR GRANDFATHERS Ferguson points out, one advantage busiother cities are building BUILT THE SYSTEM, brand-new with the latest nesses up and down AND IT’S NOW FOR technology.” the East Coast see These funding constraints US TO REBUILD IT about Philadelphia is simply mean SEPTA must FOR FUTURE that they can get in, do be more strategic with its GENERATIONS.” their business and get spending, and its latest projhome all in one day. —JOSEPH CASEY The trends, though, ect is its most revolutionary are encouraging. move to date. “Business is back,” he said, highlight“We’re doing the new payment technology system. We’ll be the first major transit ing recent conventions centered on system with an open payment system,” medial fields that drew massive numbers Mr. Casey said. “We think it’s not only a to the area. game-changer for transit and the way you Some like to gripe about infrastrucpay your fares, but we think it’s going to ture, Mr. Ferguson emphasized context. change the way the whole region pays for “Washington and Boston are no day at almost everything.” the beach,” he said. “In New York City, While Mr. Casey certainly has his you could spend all day getting a cab. work cut out for him, it’s not all struggles In Philadelphia, there’s a closeness to and frustration. He recognizes a sense attractions and a great railway sysytem, of opportunity in Philadelphia, and he that’s all very positive.” doesn’t have to look far for inspiration. And the airport? “Our strength has long been our history “It’s constantly under construction, and the attractions we have,” Mr. Casey retooling for growing demands, but said. “And I think Philadelphians are that’s not a bad thing,” he said. extremely proud of the city. We take that * * * mantra ‘City of Brotherly Love’ to heart. Despite Philadelphia’s issues with We really welcome people to our city.” crime, education and funding, it has showed endurance during a turbulent economic time. The optimism among Jack Ferguson city leaders is apparent, fueled by PRESIDENT & CEO, PHILADELPHIA population growth, a booming tourism CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU industry, and the still untapped advanTourism is big business in Philadel- tage of location. Even SEPTA, who has phia and for Jack Ferguson, President & struggled more than most, has found a CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & way to strategically navigate a perilous Visitors Bureau, the reasons are simple. financial path and push the company “We have to think big; we win with an and city forward. Philadelphia’s scrapattitude like that,” he said. “It all comes piness is alive and well, showing the down to the customer experience.” world it has learned how to roll with the That experience includes everything punches. from access, lodging, restaurants and In part two of the series, Region’s Busimoving around the city. Word is getting ness explores how the innovation and out, especially overseas where things like creative economies have become a drivtax-free shopping serve as a hot button. ing force for the city, ensuring the future For continued growth, the message of Philadelphia is looking even brighter. is simple - “you can’t do Philadelphia Elissa Vallano is a freelance journalist who lives in the Phildelaphia ara.
23 AUGUST 2012
Merion’s U.S. Open Will Bring Green BY DREW MARKOL There’s a reason so many private and public golf courses nationwide yearn to host a U.S. Open. There’s also a big reason why the host town and the surrounding area of an Open site lets out a whoop when the United States Golf Association (USGA) awards its crown jewel to them. Golf ’s biggest event, with apologies to The Masters, brings not only Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, it also injects millions of dollars into the local economy. That’s a pretty good combination all around. That event is coming here. The 2013 U.S. Open will be held at famed Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, held over seven days in June, culminating on Father’s Day. (Of course there could be a tie, forcing an 18-hole Monday playoff, but we’ll worry about that later). Preparations and expectations are well along. “The estimates for the financial impact at the last open (held in suburban San Francisco) were $140 to $170 million for that area,” said Reg Jones, the USGA’s senior director of U.S. Open Championships. “At Merion, the galleries won’t be as large, so you’re Merion’s 18th green will be the priciest real estate in the area during next year’s U.S. Open. MARK E. WAGERIN probably looking in the $115 to $125-million-range. That takes into account a lot of things like hotel rooms, When he plays, and is in contention, the television food, beverage, entertainment, merchandise, rental the week of the tournament. cars. The Open can make quite an impact.” The most extensive study on the financial impact a ratings soar. That means more eyes seeing blimp shots Unlike most U.S. Open host courses, Merion doesn’t U.S. Open can have on a local economy was conducted of the area and more ears hearing the television comboast a huge amount of acreage. by San Diego State University shortly after the 2008 mentators raving about Merion and all there is to do With roughly 120 acres, Merion, which has two event, which was held at Torrey Pines in San Diego. nearby. Simply put, there is more buzz. courses, the famed East and the West, can only fit so “They took a very thorough look at it and it’s interest“Having Tiger is about a $5-million dollar swing,” said many. Tory Fiore, the executive director of the Brandywine ing to see,” Mr. Jones said. The West Course will house a temporary The SDSU study showed that: “The Convention and Visitor’s Bureau of Delaware County. locker room for the players along with a total economic impact was $142.08 “When the AT&T didn’t have him playing the second media center. Much of the corporate hospimillion dollars with an estimated 64 year you could definitely tell the difference. We would tality areas will be located at nearby Haver- YOU’RE PROBABLY percent of attendees being non-local. love him to be playing well at the Open. “Regionally, the second year of the AT&T had a Nearly 75,000 total (hotel) room nights ford College. LOOKING IN THE financial impact of about $20 million. The year before, over seven nights were used.” The East Course will host the tournament $115 TO Torrey Pines was able to accommo- with Tiger, it was about $25 million. Now, when you’re with a crowd of 25,000 a day for the four $125-MILLIONdays of competition. In contrast, some recent date crowds of nearly 40,000 a day for talking about a major tournament like the U.S. Open, I U.S. Opens sites were able to accommodate RANGE ... THE the four competitive rounds and the see no reason why that number couldn’t triple or more. 40,000 spectators a day. The most recent OPEN CAN MAKE three practice rounds. According to You’re talking about an international flavor and people U.S. Open held in suburban San Francisco QUITE AN IMPACT’ Jones, total attendance at Merion will booking for seven days.” And what might come after the tournament is a queswas able to handle nearly 35,000 fans a day. likely range from “185,000 to 195,000.” —REG JONES The last time Merion hosted the U.S. So the financial impact likely won’t tion Mr. Fiore and many others have looked at. Open, in 1981 when David Graham won, be as great, but will still be pretty good. They’re salivating over all the publicity Merion and attendance was capped at 20,000 a day. Not surprisAnd what Mr. Woods can also bring to the show can’t the surrounding areas are going to receive and hope it means tourists will return for another look or those who ingly, general admission tickets for the four competitive be discounted. If he is healthy, which looks to be the case now, just didn’t come to the tournament will watch or read about rounds for this coming June’s event were sold out in less having him in the field provides a jolt. it and decide to give the area a try. than two weeks. In 2010, for example, when he played in his own “Having the Open is going to help inform, educate Also, due to the tight fit, several smaller merchandise tents will dot the grounds instead of the normal enor- AT&T National Tournament at nearby Aronimink Golf and show people Delaware County and the surrounding counties and make them want to come back or come mous singular structure that has become such an iconic Club, the galleries were enormous. A year later, at the same event, when he was unable to visit for the first time,” Mr. Fiore said. part of this event. “There is so much to do for the whole family and so One of the biggest beneficiaries might just well be play due to a balky knee, attendance dropped by close many people will get the opportunity to see everything the neighbors whose houses are right off or only a short to 20 percent. Of course, all general-admission tickets for the U.S. we offer. You can’t put a price tag on a visual that doesn’t walk from the course. The largest houses closest to the course are being rented for upwards of $100,000 for Open are gone, but having Mr. Woods would still help. cost a dime. I can’t buy that kind of advertising.”
23 AUGUST 2012
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23 AUGUST 2012
We all watched London in the Olympic spotlight this month and if Philadelphia wants that chance in the foreseeable future, this man will play a role. Larry Needle is the executive director of the Philadelphia Sports Congress, which is part of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. He joined the organization in 1991 as the director of promotions and was elevated to his current position in 1996. If there’s a sporting event in Philadelphia, there’s a good chance Mr. Needle had some role in it. What’s the elevator pitch for the Philadelphia Sports Congress? There are sports congresses and commissions across the country, focused on attracting events and conventions. At the end of the day, we’re a facilitator for that type of activity. The London Olympics ended recently, but there’s still a buzz about the city. Are the Olympics in Philadelphia’s future? There’s no question that hosting the Olympics can have an incredible impact on a city. That’s why we were in the mix for 2016 as one of the five U.S. finalists. It’s a really huge undertaking that takes a commitment from the entire community on every level from the governor, the mayor down to the hospitality industry and the service industries as well as many others. There’s no doubt that we could — would — do a phenomenal job as a host city. It’s a crowded sports scene here. Is there room for more? History shows that there’s always
room for more for the right event. From the X Games to hosting the Major League Soccer All Star game, various NCAA championships, and Olympic trials that we’ve hosted. The right event will resonate with the community. We hosted the U.S. Olympic trials for [table tennis] and the U.S. curling championships and they were great. It doesn’t have to be the most prominent event to be successful within the community. The Sports Congress plays a big role in playing host to the ArmyNavy game. What’s that mean to Philadelphia? The one event we produce is the Army-Navy game and it’s incredibly special. It’s really our core event. The tradition is spectacular and we’re able to welcome home the men and women of the military. It’s something we take very seriously. What’s on your wish list? For us, it’s facility driven. Youth sports have the opportunity to make a significant impact. We’d love to look at a sports complex to accommodate large-scale events. When you look at PPL Park (home of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union), it’s been an incredible addition with the rugby and lacrosse, it’s just incredible the things they can do. So we’re always looking for opportunities.
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23 AUGUST 2012
Suburban Visions of a World-Class Region Strong Tourism Industry Vital to Economic Health
Access to Great Assets Will Soon Improve
visitors love our familyAs we mark the end friendly attractions like of summer and prepare Sesame Place, Giggleour last-minute getaways of the season, let’s take a berry Fair in Peddler’s moment to think about Village, Shady Brook the impact that travel has Farm and Adventure on our county, our region Aquarium. and our country. Nationally, Brand USA, The travel business the organization that is is, in fact, a big business charged with marketing Jerry Lepping is the Executive — bigger than the U.S. the U.S. abroad will help Director of Visit Bucks County, auto industry — and the to increase the number the official tourism promotion third-largest industry in of people coming to agency for Bucks County. this region employing America, and ultimately 134,000 people from all to Bucks County and the of our towns and neighborhoods. Philadelphia region. Here in Bucks County, visitor spendAs more and more tourists come to Greater Philadelphia, now, more than ing generates $814 million in local ever, we need to do a great job welcomeconomic impact and supports more than 11,000 jobs annually. ing visitors and providing recommenAnd we certainly have reason to dations and directions so they want to celebrate; during May’s National return and tell their friends. Travel & Tourism Week, Visit Bucks So as you set out on your day today County announced reaching the $1 in beautiful Bucks County, whether you million milestone in our Tourism Grant work or visit one of our outstanding Program, supporting marketing efforts restaurants, wineries, hotels, B&Bs or throughout Bucks County. attractions, or are meeting with corpoFrom Washington Crossing Historic rate leaders for a business gathering, Park, where General George Washingremember each and every one of us has moments in our day to make amazing ton crossed the Delaware River in 1776, first and last impressions. to Independence Hall, the Philadelphia Please take this time to experience region has long played a role in altering and appreciate your own backyard, and the course of American history. do something great to provide a visitor, Our region is also home to worldcustomer, co-worker or even a neighrenowned arts and culture venues such as the James A. Michener Art Museum, bor, with a special experience. And Philadelphia Museum of Art and the remember that we are all in the travel Mercer Museum. Local children and industry together.
in Lower Bucks The Greater PhiladelCounty will become phia region has some the nexus of a seamtremendous economic, civic, cultural and quality less connection to the of life assets. largest markets east of Some that are unique, the Mississippi. not just to this region, With direct and but to any region and multiple access to that lend us the type of both the Pennsylvania inherent attributes leadTurnpike and I-95, Robert C. Loughery is a Bucks access to the major ers and decision makers County Commissioner. north/south route of would associate with an America’s rail system, area to be considered a deep water port “world-class.” Within our and both international and regional region and suburbs, Bucks County is air access, businesses will enjoy an no exception. increased competitive advantage Bucks County is blessed with a through vastly improved and readily rich cultural, historical and artistic accessible connections to markets heritage. Bordering the Delaware River, one of the nation’s few Wild and of both producers and consumers — regionally, nationally and globally. Scenic Rivers, it is a place of almost This is a game changer not only unequaled beauty. Even in the midst for Bucks County, but for our entire of the largely urbanized east coast, it Philadelphia region, which, in my still has a vibrant farming community and its small towns enjoy a reputation opinion, is a necessary ingredient in elevating our region to world-class as some of the finest places to live in status and leveraging the world-class America. All in all, these attributes attributes we already possess. and others complement and enhance Improving access to our highways, a quality of life in the Philadelphia rails and ports and strengthening the suburbs that few regions in the U. S. connections between our suburbs and enjoy. the city, which includes the movement At the same time, Bucks County of goods, as well as the region’s workpossesses a pool of highly educated, talented, and technically skilled force, will provide huge opportunities workers in the life sciences, advanced to this generation’s future-oriented materials and diversified manufactur- business leaders. Look at what happened to Coning. It is also a well-educated county with nearly 92 percent of Bucks Coun- shohocken when the Blue Route was completed. This could generate tians having a high school diploma unequaled investment opportunities and more than 40 percent of Bucks to those seeking to attract regional, County residents having post-high national and international players to school degrees, according to the 2010 re-locate into our region making it a U.S. Census. world-class destination. Bucks County is very accessible and a gateway for commerce and tourists. And easy access to Bucks County JOIN THE CONVERSATION and our region is about to get much better and far easier, thanks to one of Share your thoughts the most far-reaching game changers Region’s Business welcomes comments, planned for our region. The completion of the $500 million connection of letters and essays. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I -95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike
The South Perkasie Covered Bridge in Bucks County. (B. Krist for GPTMC)
23 AUGUST 2012
It May Not Always Be Sunny, But Our Future Looks Bright
izing up the Philadelphia region’s potential to achieve world-class status, the balance sheet is weighted slightly to the positive. After decades of urban flight, the city’s population is growing as a diverse group rediscovers the benefits of living close to the heart of the city. This has spawned a construction boom, maybe boomlet is more accurate, as developers wager this trend will continue, fueling a demand for well-appointed domiciles. Visitors — foreign and domestic — are flocking here in growing numbers and not just for the city’s historic sites, but also to suburbs rich in their own historic treasures, as well as numerous cultural venues. The region finally seems ready to embrace the benefit of being at the 50-yard-line between the nation’s financial capital — New York City — and its political capital — Washington, D.C., positioning the region as a prime gathering place for businesses up and down the East Coast. Yet the enthusiasm is not uncontrolled because significant roadblocks exist, including growth in violent crime (whether actual or, as some indicate,
perceived), a school district in a perpetual state of debt and underachievement, a pricey union stranglehold on key sectors and a reputation as a heavily taxed city. These are very real problems and none easily dismissed. Yet there is one problem the city and the region do not have — a revenue shortage. Some say otherwise, but to be clear, no one would argue that more resources for police, schools and infrastructure would not benefit the region. On the contrary, more revenue will, of course, always be welcome. However rivers of money are not going to magically begin flowing and to pin hopes on that pipedream would be foolhardy. It only provides a built-in excuse for inaction and thinking small. Instead, the times call for bold, decisive action. Smart businesses do not wait for a windfall to implement strategies that will vault them ahead. That same logic must be applied to growth and development — assess the resources at hand and deploy them against key priorities. If revenues improve, strategies can be reworked and, possibly, expanded. But a financial status quo is no excuse for lack of vision or execution. We deserve better.
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Sorry, Philadephia, But NYC Has More For 20-somethings The ex-Philadelphia Philly’s got soul, but when I friends I’ve met in New think of Philadelphia, I think York understand. They of a city enamored with being are small business owners an underdog, waiting for its on the Lower East Side, chance to play, but always techies with a start up in finding some excuse to stay Jersey City, opera singers on the bench. moonlighting as bartendMy friends in Philly have ers in SoHo. We gather for decent jobs, affordable apartPhillies games at Shorty’s, ments, and a proper social on 28th and Madison Avelife. But it’s all restricted to a Bucks County native Karen nue, for decent reproducfraction of the city, relegated Fratti is a freelance journalist tions of cheesesteaks and to certain times of day. Center living in New York City. Italian hoagies we crave. City for work, Fishtown for a We make fun of Mayor Bloomberg with friend’s gallery opening, Northern Liberties his anti-Big Gulp laws and for cleaning for micro-brewed happy hour. Philly is one of the largest American cit- up Times Square for tourists. And, yet, we ies and yet there are only about three blocks lunch in open pedestrian thoroughfares in per neighborhood that actually buzz with front of the Flatiron Building, go to conlife. It’s the only city I’ve seen where you can certs without worrying about missing the find a seat on the subway during rush hour. subway, take regulated and affordable taxis I used to commute from Bucks County after a tough day. Sure, overeducated and ambitious for college, scattered job interviews or a late lunch with buddies. I was always rushing to 20-somethings can’t afford to live in Manhit Suburban Station on a 7:30-ish train, hattan in the same sort of space you can when I knew there’d still be commuters and find in Philadelphia without two rooman open newsstand. Any later and it was a mates and a pre-recession salary. But no- man’s land. I used to think the anxiety I Brooklyn, Queens, heck, even Jersey City felt and the mace I carried in my purse was are a breezy commute into the welcoming a syndrome of being raised in the suburbs, Big Apple. And the boroughs are just as but really, it was just street smarts. Philly’s worthy of devotion. They have soul, too. Philadelphia’s the sort of city that signs soul can be scary sometimes. You can’t say this to people to who still billboards beckoning you to stay the night live in Philadelphia, and to be honest, I’ve with a brotherly love heart, asking you to spent a lot of time talking to my talented, accept it unconditionally. New York is the 20-something friends about why they do, sort of city that puts on its Sunday best, but coaxing them to get out while they still can. doesn’t ask you to forgive its wrinkles. Philly has soul. New York has the drive. Maybe that makes me a snob. Maybe it’s It’s time to step up. street smarts.
23 AUGUST 2012
BY THE NUMBERS
Penn State’s ranking in the 2012 Academic Ranking of World Universities put together by researchers at the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. More than 30 U.S. universities finished ahead of Penn State. Princeton ranked 7th.
$445,559,000 That’s the amount of revenue SEPTA generated in the fiscal year that ended on June 30. That’s 1.3 percent more than they budgeted and an increase of 1.7 percent over the previous year.
Federal Reserve Bank of Phladelphia’s index of regional manufacturing activity. The reading is a slight improvement from July’s -12.9, but readings below 0 show contraction.
The overall tuition increase at Penn State for the 2012-13 school year, the lowest percentage in 45 years. Princeton’s tuition increased 4.5 percent, the largest increase for the school in six years.
The percentage of income given to charity by residents of Philadelphia in 2008 according to a comprehensive study by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. It was the highest percentage among Philadelphia and its Pennsylvania suburban counties.
Increase in the consumer price index (CPI) over the 12 months ending in July before seasonal adjustments.
Percentage of Pennsylvania adults with a graduate or professional degree. About 18.9 percent have a bachelor’s degree while 2.42 percent have less than a ninth-grade education.
That’s the June unemployment rate for the Philadelphia metro area (the most recent available), which is higher than Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate of 7.9 percent, the state’s highest since October 2011. For comparison’s sake, the national rate was 8.3%.
Total operating expenses for WHYY, public radio and television, for their fiscal 2011.
$1,232,262,000 Those were SEPTA’s expenses in the same period. We’ll do the math for you - it’s a deficit of more than $736,000,000. The operating loss is covered by subsidies, mostly from the state.
When the U.S. Open returns to the Merion Golf Club in 2013, it’s esimated to bring with it an estimated economic impact of
At the end of July, the Phillies signed pitcher Cole Hamels to a six-year contract extension worth
$144,000,000 including a $6 million signing bonus.
Combined 2012 salaries of Philadelphia Phillies pitchers Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.
Votes for Mitt Romney in April’s GOP presidential primary.
Unemployed Pennsylvanians according to last month’s figures.
A 20 minute drive turns married with children into entourage. step into epic 20 minutes from Philly
must be 21. gambling problem? call 1.800.gambler.
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Published on Aug 23, 2012
Published on Aug 23, 2012
The first edition of our weekly print magazine, a journal of business and politics focused on the Philadelphia area.