PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY | DECEMBER 23 - 30, 2021

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FREE | DECEMBER 23 -30, 2021

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With a weak ethics board, violating campaign laws is a simple cost of doing business

CAMPAIGN LAW WITHOUT

CONSEQUENCES

Here’s where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style | Page 12


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FROM THE EDITOR

A FULL DAY’S WORK

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he trial and conviction of 6th such rules. (Read Ben Mannes’s piece in this District City Councilman Bobby week’s PW to learn more about ethics violaHenon last month cast a light on tions the Board is too weak and underfunded a longstanding practice of city to enforce.) council members: having outThe problem is not just restricted to Demside jobs that conflict with their ocrats. While Henon was among the most employment as elected officials. egregious offenders, 10th District Republican We’ve known about the probBrian O’Neill joins at-large Democrats Derek Green and Allan Domb on the known list lem for years and it’s been written about in local newspapers and magazines. But in this of council members who devote a substantial one-party town, City Council is largely im- portion of their working lives to representing mune to pressure from anyone but the Demo- someone besides the voters. In some settings, this moonlighting would cratic City Committee, and they don’t seem to be unobjectionable, as long as the conflict of have a problem with the practice. interest laws were followed. Many Does Henon’s conviction change smaller cities and towns, and even things? At least one member of City some state legislatures, are partCouncil hopes so. time jobs. Last week, 7th District CounBut in Philadelphia, we long ago cilmember Maria Quiñones-Sándecided that being one of 17 memchez introduced legislation barring bers of the city’s legislature was city lawmakers from making more demanding enough to require a fullthan $25,000 from outside jobs and time salary — currently $136,000 per requiring more and better discloyear, with more for council memsure about what other employment bers in leadership positions. they do have. For full-time pay, they owe us fullIt’s not a new idea for time work. Quiñones-Sánchez, who has been It’s not wrong that a member of essentially Henon’s only critic on City Council should make a decent City Council, the only member living. Indeed, it may be the only to publicly demand the convicted way to make sure regular people can @KYLESAMMIN crook’s resignation. afford to do the job — without a good (Henon, to the city’s shame, still paycheck, only the very rich could sits as the member for the 6th district and plans to hold the seat until they phys- afford to work in public office. (Domb, for exically drag him off to jail.) Quiñones-Sánchez ample, donates his whole city paycheck and has long disagreed with the idea of city coun- has, for what it’s worth, been active in working cil members dividing their time between rep- with the Board of Ethics in clearing up any possible conflicts of interest from his real esresenting constituents and working for some tate business.) outside entity. Most cities choose either to pay council The bill would also tighten the ethics stanmembers well or to allow outside employment. dards for conflicts of interests, which are Philadelphia is one of the few that does both. theoretically strong but have effectively been It is time for that to end. If members of City watered down by the city’s Board of Ethics. A new section of the City Code would hold that Council cannot make ends meet on $136,000 a “the fact that others may have similar finan- year — a salary far greater than that of most of their constituents — they should quit, and cial interests by engaging in similar business activity, owning similar investments, or other- leave the job to someone with a less-lavish lifestyle. wise, shall not obviate a conflict of interest for Henon’s criminal conviction should have a member of Council unless that similarity is so substantially widespread as to either sub- awakened all of us to this problem. If it hasn’t, we will have 2nd District Councilmember Kenstantially eliminate the concerns underlying this Section or make application of this Sec- yatta Johnson’s upcoming corruption trial to drive the message home even harder. Elected tion impractical.” office in Philadelphia provides many opporThis would be a big step toward honest government in Philadelphia. The proposed rule tunities for corruption. City Council should have the courage and the decency to close one change was endorsed by the Committee of Seventy, Philly’s venerable good-government of them off by passing Quiñones-Sánchez’s bill non-profit. In a recent email, they also called and banning outside employment and obvious conflicts of interest. for “a fully-funded Ethics Board to enforce”

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PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY | DECEMBER 23 -30, 2021


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STATE OF OUR CITY

PHILADELPHIAWEEKLY.COM @PHILLYWEEKLY

STATE

Philadelphia Sketch Club Open House

CITY

KWANZAA CELEBRATION AT THE

The Philadelphia Sketch Club, America’s oldest artist club founded in 1860, will be having a live model workshop, refreshments, a history presentation on the club, workshop artwork on display, as well as an opportunity to mingle with art enthusiasts. This open house will be taking place Saturday January 1st, 2022, from 12pm-4pm. Individually wrapped food items are welcomed.

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OF OUR

AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM

Image | Courtesy of Philadelphia Sketch Club

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) has announced it will host a series of special programs and events to celebrate Kwanzaa, an African American and Pan-African holiday that honors family, community, and culture and marks the first fruits of the harvest. AAMP will provide the community with interactive activities that uplift the week-long celebration (December 26 – January 1) and the seven principles of Kwanzaa, known as Nguzo Saba. Additionally, as part of Franklin Square’s Winter in Franklin Square attraction, AAMP will offer hands-on activities led by the Museum’s teaching artists and a musical percussion set by Sistas Laying Down Hands. The free activities will take place daily December 26 – December 31 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the heated tent at Franklin Square. For details, visit aampmuseum.org/.

The current number of homicide victims year-todate under Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner’s leadership. This represents a 13 percent increase over the same time last year and is higher than the annual number of homicides that took place in 2007 through 2019.

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John Montesano Art Director

Kyle Sammin Senior Editor

Contributors: A.D. Amorosi, A. Benjamin Mannes,Jesse Bunch, Paul Davis, Timaree Schmit, Ryan K. Smith, Stu Bykofsky, Eugene Zenyatta. Intern: Genevieve Wittrock

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CRIMEBEAT

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Courtesy of Michael Nutter

YES, VIRGINIA, PHILLY DOES HAVE A CRIME CRISIS:

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Former Mayor Michael Nutter Blasts DA Krasner for Denying Crisis

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fter Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner responded to a reporter’s question by stating that Philadelphia does not have a crisis of crime, lawlessness and violence, he was criticized roundly by commentators. But perhaps no criticism hit the mark better than former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter in his op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer. “District Attorney Larry Krasner’s recent remarks about whether we are experiencing a crime crisis are some of the worst, most ignorant and most insulting comments I have ever heard spoken by an elected official,” Nutter wrote. “It takes a certain audacity of ignorance and white privilege to say that right now.” Nutter went on to question what kind of world of white wokeness Krasner is living in to have so little regard for human lives lost, many of them black and brown, while he advances his own national profile as a progressive district attorney. Crime, one should note, was at an historic low during Nutter’s time as mayor. I reached out to Mayor Nutter and asked him why he wrote the op-ed and what he hoped to achieve. “I wrote it because the DA was wrong, both from a factually and morally standpoint. I

overall sense that Krasner’s view of prosecutook great offense on behalf of those who tion seems to make the city less safe. have been shot and killed in our city,” Nutter “People who engage in negative or criminal replied. “Around Thanksgiving, during that behavior seem not to consider there are any holiday period, we crossed 500 murders and particular consequence to their acit is a tragedy and it is a crisis. It is tions. When you have that kind of a sign of ripping out the heart and environment, you get lawlessness. soul of the city. And for him to say The result is more crime. Because that there is not a crisis is just an criminals, people who seriously indication of him being completely violate the law, think they will not out of touch with the reality of the be held to account, that there is no city, and I thought someone needed particular consequence, or if there to say something and I decided to is a consequence, it’s not much. say something.” “And that, I believe, is dangerIn the op-ed, Nutter suggested ous for the city. I want people who that Krasner ought to be prosecutare thinking about violating the ing criminals for carrying illegal law to know, with some certainty, guns and gun violence instead of that they will be held to account, coddling them. I asked Nutter what that they are consequences. If you he thought of Krasner not proseshoot or kill somebody, you will be cuting low-level crimes and what caught and you’re going to jail for a many believe are excessive plea long period of time.” bargains with violent criminals. PAULDAVISONCRIME.COM I mentioned to Nutter that Kras“I started with the premise that ner is perceived by many to be an everyone who violates the law does advocate for, rather than an advernot need to go to prison, but they sary to, criminals. need to be held accountable. There are a lot of “I’ve been told that up on State Road, where ways to deal with low-level offenses, but there appears from news and other accounts to be people are incarcerated, his nickname is ’Let ‘Em Loose Larry,’ or ’Uncle Larry.’ The notion just a general lack of accountability.” The former mayor said that there was an is that he is soft on criminal behavior. There is

PAUL DAVIS

a sense in the city that people can do whatever they want. That is a problem.” Nutter accused Krasner of “White Wokeness” in the op-ed. I asked him how he defined the term. “Well, this seems to be a term with varying definitions, but it is this mission of being paternalistic, someone who knows what’s best for the black, brown, purple, or whatever, community. I’m here to save you from yourselves. I’m going to protect you from the police. That I’m the great, white hope. That, in itself, is a problem. It is this idea that I’m the liberal, white person who’s here to help you,” Nutter explained. “Black people want to be safe. They don’t want criminal activity in their communities. They are not against the police. They are against police brutality. Therein lies the difference. Nutter stated that there is no question that there have been problems with certain police officers and that the criminal justice system needs to be reformed. “I’m trying to express that you can simultaneously reform the criminal justice system and still have public safety.” Paul Davis’ Crime Beat column appears here each week. He can be contacted via pauldavisoncrime.com.

PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY | DECEMBER 23 -30, 2021


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FEATURED

PHILADELPHIAWEEKLY.COM @PHILLYWEEKLY

KRASNER

The Ethics Board has no teeth

VIOLATES CAMPAIGN LAWS – and EVERYONE knows it Image | Matt Rourke/AP Photo

DECEMBER 23 - 30, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY

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n Thursday, December 9, In the nation’s most violent big city – some2021, the KYW Newsradio times “I told you so” is not good enough. reported that the PhiladelIn an article entitled “TRANSPARENCY: phia Board of Ethics apWHERE’S PHILLY’S FISCAL WATCHDOG?” proved a settlement agreethe February 18, 2021 issue of PW, this author ment with Larry Krasner’s wrote: re-election campaign for “The ethics board cites violations in relacampaign finance violation to campaign finance laws, but the fines tions. Throughout their bid are normally negligible, leaving violators to for reelection, the simply pay their fines as a “cost Krasner Campaign had partnered of doing business,” so they can be with the Real Justice PAC for its re-elected despite their violations.” BY: A. BENJAstaff to perform services and work This sentence prompted a “shout MIN MANNES for the campaign, which was paid back” response from Shane Creamfor in advance by the campaign. er, which appeared in the following This was covered heavily by the Philadelphia week’s edition, accusing PW of “missing the Weekly, the Philadelphia Law Blog, as well mark”” on the Board of Ethics. In his reas Broad + Liberty, yet no action was taken sponse, Creamer wrote: before Krasner was able to gain an illicit ad“The Ethics Board is independent of the vantage against his primary opponent Caradministration and has the authority under los Vega (D), and in the general election race the city’s Home Rule Charter to administer against Charles Peruto (R). and enforce the city’s Public Integrity Laws, Shane Creamer, the executive director of which include the Ethics Code, Campaign the Board of Ethics, told KYW Newsradio that Finance and Lobbying Laws and political acReal Justice PAC failed to properly disclose intivity restrictions in the Charter. The Board formation including how its workers were behas subpoena power and a dual enforcement ing paid, and that the Krasner campaign paid track, meaning it can either enforce the City’s Real Justice PAC in advance and the workers Public Integrity Laws by Administrative Adjuwere being paid directly by that political acdication or by going to the Philadelphia Court tion committee. of Common Pleas. As an independent Charter “They are two separate agreements, but agency, the Board has jurisdiction over all of they do happen to relate to each other in that city government. they were disclosure violations related to this Mr. Mannes also suggests that the Ethics agreement that they had between each other,” Board’s fines are limited only to campaign fiCreamer said. “The public didn’t have adenance and that the fines are “normally negliquate information about how these staff workgible.” This claim is not accurate. Apart from ers that were provided by Real Justice PAC the fact that any City agency’s fines – includand were working on the Krasner campaign ing the Ethics Board’s and any future indewere being paid.” pendent inspector general that Mr. Mannes


FEATURED

PHILADELPHIAWEEKLY.COM @PHILLYWEEKLY argues for – are limited to $2,000 per violation by state law, the Ethics Board has leveled significant fines for campaign finance, ethics, lobbying and political activity violations when appropriate. Perhaps more important than the amount of any fine, the Ethics Board has held elected and top government officials and others accountable for violations of the City’s Public Integrity Laws since it was established 14 years ago.” Statutorily, Creamer’s response is true, but the budgetary constraints, low sanctions thresholds, and inaction by prosecutors like the Pennsylvania Attorney General leave the Ethics Board with no way to respond to the blatant campaign finance violations reported as early as February, in numerous outlets before the election. Furthermore, Creamer’s response to PW’s assertion that Ethics Board fines “are normally negligible, leaving violators to simply pay their fines as a cost of doing business, so they can be re-elected despite their violations” is inaccurate is refuted by the fact that, for the second time Krasner and his supporters violated the law, got reelected, and paid fines after the fact with no sanctions thereafter. Moreover, the $40,000 of fines in the Krasner campaign/Real Justice PAC settlement pales in comparison to the roughly $500,000 reported to be pumped into the Krasner Campaign by Real Justice PAC before the May 2021 primary election. PW contacted Mr. Creamer for comment, and what we learned was that these seemingly low accountability thresholds were not based on a perceived choice or inaction by the Board of Ethics, but because the Mayor and City Council have essentially set up both of its oversight agencies for failure. “The Board of Ethics currently has no full-

time enforcement staff,” Creamer said, who described an agency responsible for all municipal campaign finance, political activity, and ethics violations that only has eight staff members. “In 2006, we had $1M in funding when the Board of Ethics was founded, then we were cut 20% in 2008 with the financial crisis. Now we are back to $915,000”, Creamer said. When asked if candidates who continually violate campaign finance laws should be removed from office, Creamer said that “removal from office has never been on the table regarding campaign finance violations and only one official has been removed in their history – for political activity violations”. Creamer continued, “…and the ability to remove from office for political activity [while on city time] was removed in the last charter revisions.” Creamer has confirmed that his office has made criminal referrals to the State Attorney General and US Attorney’s Office in the past but could not give specifics on who and when. Thus, the city has an Ethics Board with independent authority and an Inspector General without independent authority, both of which have been starved of resources to the point where they have been rendered ineffective. It leaves them no match for political operations with deep legal and fiscal resources like Real Justice PAC, George Soros, and the Krasner Campaign. Regarding Krasner, Creamer stated he could not comment on ongoing investigations or settlement negotiations, but stated he was not aware of more than what was detailed in last week’s settlement. As the US Attorney declined to comment, and Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office failed to respond to PW’s request for comment, it is not known whether Krasner’s cam-

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paign was ever investigated for the possible criminal behavior reported preceding the 2021 elections. This includes reports of campaign payments of $70,000 by Krasner’s campaign in ”marketing expenses” to a group called The Social Practice LLC, which shares the same address — 3041 Mission St. in San Francisco — and at least five lead staff members, with Real Justice PAC. The appearance that the Krasner campaign received both funding and marketing consulting from the same individuals who comprise a PAC could constitute an even greater violation of laws banning coordination between campaigns and PACs than was detailed in the Ethics Board settlement. Additionally, property records show that Larry Krasner personally owns a 40% interest in Tiger Building, LP, which owns 122123 Locust Street in Philadelphia. In 2020-21, Tiger building’s tenants included Krasner’s campaign headquarters, which paid $29,450 in rent, as well as Real Justice PAC, who also paid rent at that same location. That means that not only is Krasner’s campaign paying rent to Krasner’s own real estate investment, but one of his largest PAC donors seems to be doing so as well. Add to that the fact that it is illegal for PACs and candidates to coordinate directly, and this arrangement raises all kinds of red flags. Philadelphia consistently underfunds and places low thresholds for accountability on the agency responsible for enforcing campaign finance and political activity violations speaks volumes as to why corruption scandals are so frequent here. It’s up to Philadelphia voters to demand more funding and oversight for city and state watchdogs. This extends to our state government as well, as we should be asking our state Attorney General (and Democratic candidate for Governor) to address these issues as the responsible law enforcement officer with jurisdiction over allegations against our District Attorney.

PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY | DECEMBER 23 - 30, 2021


8

OPINION

PHILADELPHIAWEEKLY.COM @PHILLYWEEKLY

Restaurant Revolt:

Defy the City’s Streetery Legislation! Does Mayor Kenney have the guts to go after eateries that ignore the new law?

P

Philadelphia’s City Council recently passed legislation permanently approving existing streeteries for restaurants that fall within a zone comprising most of West Philly and Center City. The more than 250 restaurants that fall outside the zone “can apply for an exemption, but that would need approval from the surrounding community and the local city councilmember.” Aside from the zone of approval being somewhat arbitrary, the legislation sounds reasonable enough. Any restaurant supported by its community should be good to go! Or, maybe not so much. “Restaurants left out of Philly’s ‘streeteries’ legislation worry it will be impossible to get approval,” reads a November 29th article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The article goes on to quote restaurant owners who insist that their businesses would flounder without the extra revenue generated by their streeteries. So, alright, perhaps the legislation isn’t quite so reasonable after all. Anecdotally, I’ve yet to encounter anyone

DECEMBER 23 - 30, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY

who dislikes Philadelphia’s streeteries. In fact, everyone I’ve talked to seems to be rather fond of them. Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, in a statement that seems representative, observed that “expanded outdoor dining has helped businesses and created a more vibrant atmosphere in the city.” Why, then, has City Council added a maze of red tape and exclusions? A more reasonable approach would be to approve every streetery, then offer a process for communities to disapprove and limit them when necessary. Expanded outdoor dining is a rare example of a good thing that came from COVID-19. The burden of jumping through hoops should be borne by those who want to take the good thing away, not those who want to keep their business afloat. Be that as it may, the wrong-headed legislation is already in place. So, what now? Perhaps it’s time for some civil disobedience. Restaurants should consider calling the City’s bluff; does the City actually have the staff to enforce the rule and fine places that keep popular outdoor seating? Pretend you’re a member of the Kenney

administration responding to a city-wide boycott against the streetery legislation. You don’t have the personnel to enforce sanctions on all the boycotters. But perhaps you could make an example out of a few – get a story on the front page of the Inquirer about a streetery that was forced to cease and desist, the restaurant slapped with steep fines. A frontpage story like that might serve to dissuade other boycotters from continuing with their acts of civil disobedience. But how would this tactic look? The restaurant industry has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Streeteries have been their lifeline. They’ve made the city vibrant during an otherwise dark time. Snatching that lifeline away from restaurants is not exactly a great PR move. But let’s say the city sticks to its guns. What then? We’d need to make a legal challenge. Surely we could muster up some lawyers willing to take on the city, fight for the little guy, and save our streeteries. “Trade and commerce, if they were not made of India rubber, would never manage to bounce over the obstacles which legislators are continually putting in their way,” as Hen-

ry David Thoreau wrote. Due to the streetery rules being arbitrary and capricious, I believe that Philadelphia’s restaurant industry would be wholly justified in organizing a complete and total boycott of the legislation. Just as Thoreau “could not help being struck with the foolishness” of his government when he was thrown in prison for refusing to pay his poll tax, the citizens of Philadelphia would be struck with the foolishness of City Council’s streetery legislation if the Kenney Administration tried to crack down on boycotters. I say Philly’s restaurant owners should look to Thoreau, who “came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.” They could waste precious time trying to pressure City Council to amend the arbitrary law. Or, they could transgress it at once. Nick Russo is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and on a leave of absence from law school at Villanova University. Follow him on Twitter @NickAndrewRusso.


PHILADELPHIAWEEKLY.COM @PHILLYWEEKLY

VOICES

Citizen Frustrated with Lack of City Action on Violence I’m just another concerned citizen in a sea of broken promises, campaign slogans, and politicians that are sadly concerned about personal agendas and throwing money at programs without oversight instead of focusing on solutions to actually stop crime and create better outcomes for those suffering in poverty. The ignorance that Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner goes beyond the typical “Democratic” machine and presents itself as mere incompetence and negligence. No one wants crime, I am assured that they do not want it either. However, these two men, and also City Council that has been notably silent, have actual power to create changing and lasting laws that can help fight crime, create changes in our local judicial system to prevent recidivism, create changes to our school system and turn Philadelphia around to invite the best and brightest in cutting edge organizations instead of treading on the same unstable ground for decades. Every murder should pierce the soul of every elected official and create a source of outrage that should permeate in City Hall to find solutions to stop these problems now. Our City is a national embarrassment and it should never come to giving money to non-governmental programs without any oversight to help future problems that honestly do nothing for now. Additionally, years of neglect from politicians that enact Quid Pro Quos, elected people that neglect areas such as the Philadelphia School District and outside hires of departments that have not made sustainable connections within the stakeholders of the City is not an action that has worked. Waiting out a second term to use as a resume to springboard to a state or federal office is an action that does not work. Creating the guise of a “progressive” agenda that has done nothing but not only regressed our City but has offended every black and brown citizen including myself does not work. A 17-member legislative body that enacts policies that further bind police to do their jobs, while some on

that legislative body has curried favor with organizations over constituents does not work. Most importantly, lack of incarcerating repeat offenders does not work, and is highly insulting to the families of the victims and the communities of our City. What works are sensible policies that are respective of race, gender and community. What works is action taken to not only hold people accountable for crimes but to create opportunities for redemption through incarceration and actual time served, while creating standards to show that crime pays a heavy price and that is time served. What works are politicians that place constituents over cash and favors. Lastly, what works is a dismantling of a “Democratic” network that only pushes favorites and does not allow for fresh voices and opinions with no fiduciary ties and ideas and actual vision for our City that generates growth, excitement, and passion back to our City. For the 500 plus and sadly counting murder victims in our City and the many more families that are affected by violence that Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw claims are just a “small demographic,” my utmost and heartfelt prayers goes out to each and every one of you for comfort and healing during this time. We are all grieving together. And for the current elected officials that are not trying to make the City a better place, that are placing personal agendas over actual progress, I have one question that I hope you can look in the mirror and ask: What are you doing? And if that answer is “I am doing all that I can...but” (insert excuse); then shame on you for letting down our City. I would love to run for City Council in 2023, but ask the question often, what can one citizen do in this trying time? I’m just another concerned citizen in the City of Philadelphia. -Frank Clement

OF OUR

CITY

9

THE SHOUT OUT

With the new year, Philly sets a tragic new record for murders in the city.

Your turn: In 2022, what do you most hope the city improves upon? Send your thoughts to voices@philadelphiaweekly.com DECEMBER 23 - 30, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY


10

GOSSIP

A few great concerts to sneak in before the New Year

PHILADELPHIAWEEKLY.COM @PHILLYWEEKLY

New Jazz

ICEPACK

and Bake’n Bacon

DECEMBER 23 - 30, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY

BY: A.D. AMOROSI

M

aybe I’m a little premature here, what with this being two whole days out from the holiday when PW hits print, but do you actually think that you snagged everything that you wanted for Christmas? We know that Philly restaurants and local live venues might be fucked for the gift of crowds – to say nothing of employees – now that Omicron is high and spread wide, and several eateries will close temporarily. That’s fucked up. We know that lame Sixers player Ben Simmons didn’t get what we wanted so far as he is still stuck on the team and with a big house he can’t sell in New Jersey. So Ben is double fucked. We know that our Police Commish, Danielle Outlaw, didn’t get the gift of getting the hell out of Philly for NYC, and getting Manhattan District’s top cop job. Or that DA Krasner got any respect or empathy after apologizing for having said the worst stupidest benign untrue comments about Philly not suffering from a gun violence and death epidemic. Or that Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese will be in good fiscal shape after having to pay out $20 each to over 18,000+ home cooks not to use its thick white slab of Neufchâtel. Or that the doofuses getting PA state income tax removed from student loan forgiveness won’t just waste that money on more meal kits, melatonin, and pre-rolls. Or that no one making the laws in Philly’s City Council can make more than $25,000 on the side of Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez has her way. Dreams dashed. Hopes trashed. And for Jim Kenney. Our Grinch. Our Scrooge. Our every nightmare Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future rolled into one stiff suit. Ho. Ho. No. Delco and Cohen Delco. It’s a magical place with quaint accents, thick sweaters, an uncomfortably close relationship to all things Wawa, and all made popular by HBO’s Mare of Eastown. OK. How to top that? A first-ever, seasonably chilled, brand-new Flight on Ice Skating Village complete with a lit-up Christmas tree, Zamboni driving and a partnership/ownership card from a one-time NHL hockey player, Colby Cohen of the Colorado Avalanche and the


GOSSIP

PHILADELPHIAWEEKLY.COM @PHILLYWEEKLY Providence Bruins, Cohen’s no Kate Winslet, but he’s nicer for kids than watching her and Jean Smart smoke cigarettes. New Jazz You know what no one does anymore, especially during a pandemic? Open new jazz joints. That’s why we love Mame and Mark Wilson for popping the top on Wilson’s Restaurant & Live Music Lounge on Warwick Road in Hi-Nella South Jersey last week, without warning, and booking a full slate of live jazz, blues, and R&B to go with its New Orleans cuisine. Nice. Bel Air Hey, I saw the trailer at Thanksgiving. It looks glum, and slow. So why not run the glum and slow whole premiere of the new dramatic reboot of Overbrook’s Will Smith origin story, the sit-comic The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – now titled Bel-Air - immediately following 2022’s action packed Super Bowl. That should bring your mood down quick. West Philly’s Jabari Banks stars in “Bel Air,” and many of its early scenes were locally lensed and feature all manner of Philadelphia-made art, crafts, graffiti and landmarks. Maybe that’ll lift and freshen your Fresh Prince spirits? Indie Rock Before Philly’s rocking tower of song, The Districts, ring in New Year’s Eve at Johnny Brenda’s, they take part in Brooklyn’s San Fermin’s new collaborative album “In This House” with fellow Fermin pals Nico Muhly, Wild Pink, Wye Oak, Sorcha Richardson, Thao Nguyen, and the Attacca Quartet. That’s a bigger deal than you know, so, prepare. Christmas Concert Just in time to make with the merry, the bright and the money, the artists who made 2020’s The Philly Holiday Album (that’s probably Dawn Drapes, Nik Greeley, Wil Schade, and Taylor Kelly at the very least) will do a live show rendition of last year’s snappy Christmas music remix at MilkBoy on December 22 for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In Icepack’s way too-long, way overly complex and continuing saga of asking mask-donning local celebrities what they’ve been up to, beyond the pale, during C-19 – from lockdown to the current re-opening, present-day un-masking and re-masking, worrying about Delta variants, freaking out about Fauci’s call for a potential third round of vax shots a mere five months after the last, new mask and vax card mandates, ignored or not ignored (I mean why did I wait in line at the Convention Center if you’re not asking to see my card?), the possibility of mixand-matching vaccines which is weird, AND NOW, YEAH OF COURSE, the whole worldwide B.1.1.529 Omicron variant scare, so wel-

come to ROUND THREE, I reached out, this week, to Justin Coleman. Cape May’s Coleman is the brains, brawn, and baking hands behind the Bake’n Bacon food truck whose first-time appearance at downtown’s Christmas Village (next to the Ferris Wheel, yet) is the crispest reason to hit the shopping/dining holiday hotspot. Running the Bake’n Bacon mobile for a minute, however, meant putting the brakes on a smart business proposal through the pandemic’s initial slow down, and working through his own non-biz concerns. “I took time to deal and heal with traumas that I faced, and focused more on self-care; and what that means is I spent time reading and searching for passages on improving one’s well-being, relationships with others, and mental care,” says Coleman. “I was able to slow down and stay still, and in that stillness, learn and refocus. It was good to unlearn certain behaviors and relearn more effective and healthier ones. All of that let me be in a much better place to adapt and pivot my business, including finding new ways to connect with foodies all over the region, rethink and expand our future plans, make new connections and network in new ways, and expand into the Philly marketplace.” Coleman is a fan of the vaccine and the face masks, especially considering that his mask was made by old friend, conscious Los Angeles’ artist Miles Regis, a painter whose work depicts and highlights social injustice. “Mike’s paintings raise awareness on issues in the Black community and highlight the beauty and resilience in the Black culture. His work is truth telling, empowering and unique in capturing the struggles of Blackness as well as uplifting Black excellence.” As far as the vax goes, Coleman is vaccinated, but believes that everyone should do what they feel is best for themselves as well as their loved ones. “Whatever people feel comfortable for their own health and safety,” he adds. Along with Bake’n Bacon serving seven kinds of mac ‘n cheese, brisket fries and much more, Coleman is most looking forward to shaving (“I don’t have to shave as much as I used to do, so when the mask is gone, I’ll be clean-shaven”) and taking off for the month of January to visit fam in Hawaii. “The food truck has been non-stop all year and we’re at Christmas Village every single day seven days a week through Christmas Eve, plus shipping orders all over the country. So this break is much needed. I’m also looking forward to our second Bake’n Bacon food truck debuting at the beginning of next year for two times the bacon goodness.”

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THE RUNDOWN

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THE RUNDOWN Image | Nathan Ansell

WELCOMING 2022 AFTER A LONG 2021

REX at The Royal

Philly’s sexiest new restaurant and destination for elevated Southern and Lowcountry cuisine is celebrating New Year’s Eve with fabulous fare, live music, and plenty of bubbly, craft cocktails, wine pairings, and more, followed by a bustling brunch service on New Year’s Day. Reservations at opentable.com

Image | Courtesy of By Yanage

Bank and Bourbon

Enjoy startersVillage including Tuna Crudo and Imagea| selection Courtesy ofof Christmas Choptank Sweets Oysters, signature entrees including Sixty-South Salmon and Roasted Lancaster Chicken. End 2021 on a sweet note with a chocolate crunch bar or crème brûlée cheesecake. The New Year’s Eve dinner is available for $105 per adult with an optional $40 wine pairing. Reservations available on Resy. Bankandbourbon.com

McGillin’s Olde Ale House

Ring in the New Year at McGillin’s Olde Ale House, Philadelphia’s oldest bar. DJ starting at 9pm plus over-the-top decor and party favors. $10 cover charge with in/out privileges (if they have capacity). No reservations needed. Mcgillins.com

Image | Courtesy of Rex at the Royal

DECEMBER 23 -30, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY

Izakaya by Yanaga

$60 per person, minimum of two people. Chef’s Tasting Menu of seven courses includes a choice of one menu item from each category: small, ramen, robata, sushi maki, sashimi, chirashi, and sides. Complimentary black sesame ice cream and champagne toast. Sake pairing (additional fee). Byyanaga.com

Forsythia

Christopher Kearse’s contemporary French bar and restaurant in Old City is saying au revoir to 2021 in style with a can’t miss French Disco Dance Party, fit with small plates, themed cocktails, bubbly, and of course – disco, in celebration of New Year’s Eve on Dec. 31 starting at 8pm. Alternatively, the acclaimed restaurant is offering a black truffle tasting takeaway menu with complimentary wine pairings for those looking to spend an elegant evening at home. Forsythiaphilly.com


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Harper’s Garden

Celebrate 2022 at Harper’s Garden, one of Center City’s top restaurants. Their new chef, Chaz Brown, has put together a $85/person Pre Fixe Menu including a three-course meal, two cocktails, and a champagne toast. Reservations are available in the main restaurant, their newly enclosed and heated veranda and their heated greenhouses for a more private table. Harpersgardenphilly.com

Image | Courtesy of Harper’s Garden

Positano Coast

Come for dinner and stay for the afterparty! Positano Coast in Old City presents their annual New Year’s Eve dinner and after-dinner party. Dinner service starts at 3pm with a special NYE menu available including signature and special offerings. The last dinner reservations are at 9:30pm. The after-dinner party starts at 10pm, with tickets for $20 including a cash bar, live DJ, party favors and a complimentary midnight toast. All other food and drink is pay-as-you-go. Call 215238-0499 to make your reservations for dinner and the after-dinner party. Positanocoast.net

Royal Boucherie

Old City’s atmospheric and lively neighborhood restaurant and bar is bringing back burlesque for one night only in celebration of New Year’s Eve on Dec. 31. Ring in the New Year with Chef Matt Buehler and team featuring an array of new and returning French fare, served a la carte, plus exquisite French wines and champagne for sipping. Noted burlesque performers Mia Romantic and Sophie Spruce will mingle with guests at the first-floor bar, followed by elaborate performances starting at 11pm in the upstairs dining room. Royalboucherie.com/

Chez Colette

Ring in the New Year with Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square with a lavish four-course meal to end the year, including a complimentary glass of bubbly. All dinner guests will enjoy complimentary access to Liberte Lounge for the New Year’s Celebration with DJ until 2am. The experience is $80 per person with a glass of champagne, not including tax, beverages, and gratuity. For reservations, visit OpenTable or call 215-569-8300. Sofitel-philadelphia.com

Volvér

Chef Jose Garces presents a special five-course dinner for New Year’s Eve at the Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 S. Broad Street. For $95 per person, guests will enjoy starters that include snapper tartare, winter greens salad, and crispy soft shell shrimp. For entrees, guests can pick from roasted halibut or lamb chops, with both served with haricots verts and baby carrots, and choice of dessert from Marcona Almond Marjolaine or Mocha Pot De Creme. Reservations are available by calling (215) 670-2302 or visiting OpenTable. Volvér will also offer a special New Year’s Eve Pre-Theatre Fixed Price Menu for three courses. Philadelphia.volverrestaurant.com

Figo Ristorante

Ring in 2022 with dinner and complimentary champagne at Figo Ristorante in Northern Liberties. Their full dinner menu will be available with the following specials, including jumbo shrimp cocktail, crab cake, grilled calamari, 16 oz. bone-in ribeye, vegetable lasagna, and more. Look for an extensive cocktail, wine and sparkling list to toast in the New Year, including four sparkling options, the Figo espresso cocktail trays, and make-your-own boozy soda tableside trays. Call 267-245-9625 or visit OpenTable for reservations. Figoitalian.com

Image | Courtesy of Figo Ristorante

PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY | DECEMBER 23 -30, 2021


14

THE RUNDOWN

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Twisted Tail

Image | Courtesy of The Twisted Tail

The Twisted Tail, the Southern-inspired restaurant, bar, and live music venue on Headhouse Square known for its extensive array of brown spirits, is ringing in the new year in style with a Burlesque & Blues Masquerade Party on New Year’s Eve starting at 9pm. Price is $25/person for the burlesque show, three-course prix fixe dinner $75/person, $150/person for VIP access for the evening; tickets at Eventbrite.

The Trestle Inn

NYE-A-GO GO!, a disco dance party, returns to the Trestle Inn starting at 8pm. Shake in the new year at Philly’s only Go Go dance party, featuring DJ Billa on vinyl and Go Go by Trestle Specials Vera Marrona, Billy Dee and Marsha Katt. The $50/ person admission includes a menu cocktail and champagne toast, $200/per couple for the VIP package, doors open at 8pm.

Upstairs at 700 Club

The biggest ball drop north of Spring Garden continues a 20-plus year tradition. The 700 will have DJ SomebodyBlessedMe spinning tracks for the dancing folks upstairs from 10pm-2am, and many, many good people enjoying the festivities at the downstairs bar. In addition to drink specials all evening, all will gather outside of the bar as 2022 becomes imminent to watch the ball descend as they countdown the end of 2021 and ring in the new year. Vax required. explorenorthernliberties.org

DECEMBER 23 -30, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY

Craft Hall

Morgan’s Pier, Philadelphia’s summer destination hotspot, is bringing the summer heat this New Year’s Eve at Craft Hall. FCM Hospitality and the team at Morgan’s Pier will be taking over the 35,000 square-foot venue to offer nightlife goers all the party with none of the pretentiousness to ring in 2022. Pre-sale tickets start at $75. Every ticket will include an open bar including premium spirits, local beers, and wine, spirited party favors, midnight champagne toast, light food fare, and DJ entertainment. crafthallphilly.com

Five Parties, Five Different Vibes, Five Hour Open Bars Teddy Sourias and Craft Concepts Group are back with some of the biggest celebrations to end the year, with parties at Tradesman’s, Blume Burger, Bru Craft and Wurst, Finn McCool’s and Sueno. Each property will offer a five-hour premium open bar from 9pm to 2am, early evening complimentary passed hors d’oeuvres, live DJ performances spinning, DJ-led countdown to New Year’s and more. Semi-formal attire requested for all parties. Visit joonbug.com for details about all of the celebrations.


THE RUNDOWN

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15

The Dolphin Tavern

Resident Dolphin DJ and party-person extraordinaire Wassup Gina and upcoming superstar Polari’s Firestone are throwing the ultimate house, disco, and drag extravaganza this NYE and you don’t want to miss out. There is absolutely no dress code but they encourage you to be creative and go all out with your look. There will be pop-up drag performances all night by our host MISS THING and complimentary champagne toast at midnight. They highly advise you to buy discounted presale tickets to secure entry for $20 as cover will rise to $30 at the door day of (that is, if there are any left). dolphinphilly.com

Image | Courtesy of Dolphin Tavern

Vesper Center City

Vesper is back with their annual New Year’s Eve Party from 9pm to 2am with two floors of music with DJ Smooth in the Main Room and Christiano Jordano in the Upstairs lounge. Prices start at $79 and go up to $119, and all include a five-hour open bar. VIP bottle service is available for $250 and includes hand passed Hors D’oeuvres, and choice of bottles throughout the night. Visit Vesper at vespersportsclub.com for tickets and reservations. Dinner is also available from 7pm to 9pm in the dining room.

Concourse Dance Bar

Looking for the perfect location to have a ball and dance your way into 2022? Look no further than Concourse Dance Bar, located below street level at 1635 Market Street. This Instagram-perfect location will provide you with everything you need to start the year off right including a premium open bar, DJ entertainment, access to their ice bar, champagne toast at midnight and more. concoursedancebar.com

Jerry’s Bar

Take in the New Year’s Eve Golden Disco Party from 8pm to 2am. Sounds by DJ Rocdaspot. Dinner Menu and New Year’s Eve specials. Kitchen open until 1am. Complimentary toast at midnight. jerrysbarphilly.com

Burlesque, dance at Tabu

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in the heart of the Philly gayborhood with a surprisingly affordable night of glamour and glitz. For several years, Philly burlesque institutions HoneyTree EvilEye and Flirt Vonnegut hosted a massively popular burlesque show and dance party on New Year’s Eve at Tabu, and after last year’s hiatus they’re finally back in the venue. Audience members can enjoy burlesque and drag performances throughout the night. The night kicks off when doors open at 9 pm, pop up performances begin at 9:30 and culminate in a midnight champagne toast! Burlesquenye2022.eventbrite.com

Blind Barber

Dance into the new year at Philadelphia’s speakeasy bar in Midtown Village. Tickets are on sale now for New Year’s Eve at Blind Barber Philly on Dec. 31, from 8pm to 2am, with a two-hour open bar (starting at 8pm), with a complimentary midnight toast and music from DJ Grotzy Versache. Tickets are $50 and on sale now at bit.ly/ blindbarbernye. Table, bottle and VIP service is available by emailing Philly@blindbarber. com.

Image | Courtesy of Blind Barber

PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY | DECEMBER 23 -30, 2021


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DECEMBER 23 - 30, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY

SEX WITH TIMAREE

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Pleasure

PEAKS

Antuanette Gomez and her partner were worked with patients suffering from chronic going through one of those spells that folks in pain issues like Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s long-term relationships will all recognize. “We disease, cancer, and endometriosis. “So many were on and off, always having arguments,” of our patients were self-prescribing cannashe says. “I wanted to try something different, bis,” she says. These folks were often using not necessarily couples’ therapy.” smoke-able versions — under CanGomez, who was working as a proada’s medical marijuana policy — fessional holistic nutritionist and but Gomez figured that edible oils, yoga instructor in Toronto, found a topicals, lubricants and suppositantric retreat nearby. tories would be more efficient and Tantra had a big appeal to her. safe for their bodies, especially va“It’s a sacred philosophy about findginas and anuses. ing love and enlightenment in every So, in 2015 she launched Pleasure moment,” she explains. “Being able Peaks, creating CBD pleasure prodto feel love and sex and pleasure ucts that would not only benefit while making your coffee in the people dealing with inflammation morning, while going for a simple and chronic ailments, but also those walk with your partner. Being able who might enjoy a little enhanced to look at your partner and your life DR. TIMAREE sensuality. She says she quickly in a more intimately charged way, garnered a big following among which can be really healing.” the LGBTQ community, especial@TIMAREE_LEIGH ly among gay men who found the But there was a catch. “On the first day they told us it was a sober lubes beneficial for anal sex. retreat: no alcohol, Apparently, no drugs, there’s they’re not the nothing. My partonly ones. Since its ner, who is a big founding her comlover of craft beer, pany has expanded was super upset at to include hedonisthe beginning. But tic pleasure retreats we found some realin Hawaii and Jaly profound things,” maica, a podcast she says. where regular peoWithin the anple can share their cient Tantric teachstories, and a proings, she discovered fessional partnerpractices like sexuship with pharmaally charged breathing and erotic yoga. “I was ceutical experts to further research cannabis also learning they used cannabis in these anand sexual medicine. cient practices: as an aphrodisiac, to connect This entrepreneurship has garnered Gomore deeply and have more heightened expemez accolades — including a mention on the riences, sexually,” she says. Forbes 30 Under 30 list — but she’s keenly Meanwhile, in her role as a nutritionist, she aware that her success as a young queer wom-

SCHMIT

“In 2015 she launched Pleasure Peaks, creating CBD pleasure products that would not only benefit people dealing with inflammation and chronic ailments.”


PHILADELPHIAWEEKLY.COM @PHILLYWEEKLY an of color in this industry is a rarity. This is why she created an entire pipeline to get people start their own legal cannabis business. “There’s a huge ‘grass ceiling’ here in Canada,” she says, citing a University of Toronto study that found 84% of cannabis industry leaders are white and 86% are male. Recreational cannabis has been legally regulated for almost three years, resulting in a surge of income for those able to bring the product to market, but Gomez says there are huge barriers to do so, “specifically because of me being a woman of color, not having generations of wealth.” The people who monopolize cannabis in Canada today, she says, are often ex-police, political insiders, and those from the pharmaceutical industry. “It’s not their fault, it’s just there are systems in place to ensure they have the first access to those markets and the thing is: there are no people of color there.” “Cannabis has disproportionately impacted people of color in such terrible ways,” she says, noting that many Black, Latino and indigenous people have been put behind bars for the non-violent offense of marijuana possession — something that is legal today — leaving their lives totally derailed with no pathway to expungement. These experiences also add an additional obstacle to getting people of color into positions to profit from legalization.

SEX WITH TIMAREE Her own grandfather was deported from Canada for possession of less than an ounce of weed when she was around 8 years old. She continues to keep in touch with him through FaceTime, but her family is irrevocably changed. “My family was very scared about me getting into the cannabis industry after seeing what was done to my grandfather,” she says, “but now that they’ve seen my company thrive, they’re really happy and supportive. Of course, for a lot of others, it’s not the same.” There’s the additional challenge of stigma, as both cannabis and sexuality face significant financial discrimination. Folks in stripping and pornography may be denied bank accounts or loans, have their online stores flagged, or find that other companies may not want to collaborate. The same goes for cannabis, despite it being comparably legal. “It’s really unfortunate, but at the same time, but what I’ve seen is that people will slowly adopt,” Gomez says, “Nobody wants to help us but it’s something only time can change.” “It’s not going anywhere, this product,” she says, laughing, “and there are still people fighting for the future and that’s what I’m really excited to witness.” Have a question for Dr. Timaree? Send an email to asktimaree@philadelphiaweekly.com.

“This entrepreneurship has garnered Gomez accolades — including a mention on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list — but she’s keenly aware that her success as a young queer woman of color in this industry is a rarity.”

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GENERAL AND TREATMENT FOSTER PARENTS NEEDED Open your heart and home to children of all ages New Foundations, Inc. 215-203-8733 www.nfi4kids.org FLAGGER Traffic Plan seeks Flaggers to protect our clients and the motoring public by setting up work zones and controlling traffic. A valid driverʼs license is a must. Good pay and benefits offered. If interested, please fill out an application online at www.trafficplan.com. Legal Notices

PUBLIC NOTICE AT&T proposes to modify their existing facility (new tip heights 89.3ʼ, 108.3ʼ, & 113.3ʼ) on the 102.5ʼ building at 3020 Market St, Philadelphia, PA (20211210). Interested parties may contact Scott Horn (856-8091202) (1012 Industrial Dr., West Berlin, NJ 08091) with comments regarding potential effects on historic properties.

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AT&T Mobility, LLC is proposing to modify an existing wireless telecommunications facility on an existing building located at 501 South 54th Street, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania 19143 (N39° 57' 6.3" and W75° 13' 46.3"). AT&T Mobility, LLC invites comments from any interested party on the impact the proposed undertaking may have on any districts, sites, buildings, structures, or objects significant in American history, archaeology, engineering, or culture that are listed or determined to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under National Historic Preservation Action Section 106. Comments pertaining specifically to historic resources may be sent to Impact7g, Inc., Attention Ms. Casey Radke at 9550 Hickman Road, Suite 105, Clive, IA 50325 or call 515473-6256. Comments must be received within 30 days of the date of this notice. NE 880/CR

AT&T Mobility, LLC is proposing to modify an existing wireless telecommunications facility on an existing building located at 1033 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania 19107 (N39° 57' 0.0" and W75° 9' 33.0"). AT&T Mobility, LLC invites comments from any interested party on the impact the proposed undertaking may have on any districts, sites, buildings, structures, or objects significant in American history, archaeology, engineering, or culture that are listed or determined to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under National Historic Preservation Action Section 106. Comments pertaining specifically to historic resources may be sent to Impact7g, Inc., Attention Ms. Casey Radke at 9550 Hickman Road, Suite 105, Clive, IA 50325 or call 515473-6256. Comments must be received within 30 days of the date of this notice. NE 883/CR

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