Quick Friday notes
- The city reached a one-year contract deal with its largest union of municipal workers this week (see also editorial here), leaving only the firefighters (arbitrated) and a couple of small union agreements to iron out. Everybody hopes that these one-year deals will give the new mayor and his advisors a chance to figure out how to handle the budget, weather the changes in the economy, and still pay for health benefits and other growing expenses. I congratulate everybody on their level heads, and wish the Nutterites good luck with this unenviable long-term conundrum.
- Following up on Thursday's story about increased presence of the homeless in Rittenhouse Square, the Inquirer looked at how some other major cities handle the same problem in their parks and on their streets. A mix of tough laws and selective enforcement...
- One consequence of the spike in gas prices has been an increase in regional rail use in the greater Philadelphia region, with the result that SEPTA needs more cars, and more quickly than their planned orders can be delivered. To cover the meantime, they've arranged to buy some NJ Transit cars and spare parts to keep them running until the tonier "Silverliner" cars start to arrive.