Other notable bits
- This may or may not be the first casualty of the pay-hike outrage: Bucks County's state Senator Joe Conti has decided not to run for re-election this year. He didn't cite specific reasons, but his constituents may still recall his lame "I spent it on a water heater" excuse for not giving back the unvouchered expense money, and there are likely to be both primary and general election challengers aplenty. Or maybe it's something else entirely. [The article also gives a list of state legislators currently planning not to run.]
- The debate over shipping of liquified natural gas around Philadelphia hasn't gone away, but has simply been dormant of late. PGW may be about to announce a partner in developing a new shipping project, and fierce debate is expected in City Council, which must give its approval and seems disinclined to do so...
- An Inquirer editorial uses the recently disclosed ugliness in the School District's contracting to take a look into the eyes of the payola beast in Philadelphia. They put out a plea to Perzel and other pols to keep the cronyism away from our school system, which has enough to deal with already just doing its job.
- The Philadelphia Weekly features an article looking at a couple of empty lots in prime Avenue of the Arts locations, which have gone undeveloped long enough that the Redevelopment Authority is close to revoking the current owners' rights. Good for them. Pulling projects together can be hard work, but companies taking publically handled land shouldn't hold out for the snazziest package of options either --- the city suffers when prime lots become rubble fields.
- Apparently there were two forums on gun violence this past Saturday, with one organized by/at the African American Museum (and memorializing victims past) and another put together by the Germantown branch of Neighborhood Networks (and working on letters to legislators). Each had great panelists and drew around 100 folks; glad to see people trying to find creative ways to deal with this pervasive problem.
- And finally, Inquirer columnist Tom Ferrick points out that even though Philadelphia's murder rate is raising pulses, its total crime rate is down significantly. (Oh, this was a Sunday story, but what the heck.)