Photos: Associated Press
Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:
Harrisburg Republicans are unhappy with Gov. Tom Wolf’s welcome to Syrian refugees — but he’s got Ed Rendell’s support.
“Republican lawmakers are pressuring Gov. Tom Wolf to stop accepting Syrian refugees in Pennsylvania out of fear that deadly terrorists attacks like those in Paris will happen here,” PennLive reports. “The governor has to realize this could be a life and death situation with radicals,” said Rep. Ron Marsico. “The danger is real and the safety of Pennsylvanians is at serious risk.” Wolf’s response? He couldn’t keep them out, even if he wanted to. “Despite the implication of some, states do not have the authority to refuse to accept refugees that are admitted by the federal government.”
Ed Rendell, talking on Rich Zeoli’s radio show, defended Wolf: “Remember who these people are. These are people who fled ISIS. They fought ISIS. When ISIS started rampaging in their country, they fled. I think it’s fair to assume that they’re not ISIS sympathizers. Now, would I be worried that some people who once the announcement was made that we’re taking people, that some people would try to jump in and get into the group? Sure. But people who fled and have been in refugee camps for six months, nine months, a year, I think it’s fair to assume that they hate ISIS too.” Read more »
Tom Wolf challenged Gov. Tom Corbett for office last year. Wolf won.
Well, good for Gov. Tom Wolf.
It hasn’t been an easy rookie year for Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor. He’s been faced with a Republican-controlled legislature that has goals pretty much the opposite of his, with the result that the annual budget — due in June — is still unfinished. He’s taken (ahem) a little bit of flack for that.
But on Monday, he made me glad he’s our governor. Read more »
Mayor Michael Nutter at ThinkFest.
Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:
Mayor Nutter says gun violence in cities like Philadelphia isn’t any different from terrorist violence like the attacks on Paris.
AP reports: “Domestic terrorism is international terrorism,” Mayor Nutter told U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch Monday during a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “There is really no level of distinction between the violence that goes on, on the streets of America on a daily basis and the episodic acts of international terrorism that also take place — primarily in cities.” He called for federal and local officials to treat local gun violence with the same seriousness as international terrorism.
Nutter added: “Citizens around the world feel unsafe because of international terrorists … those same feelings exist for many in (American) communities. … These criminals are terrorizing our citizens and that same level of fear of violence, the death of citizens, the destruction of property, are the same. In many cities across the United States of America on a weekend, you very well could have six, eight, 10 people shot.”
Read more »
Some discouraging news for advocates of police reform in Philadelphia: A new Washington Post/Frontline investigation has revealed “mixed results” in other cities where the Justice Department intervened to curb the excessive use of force by police departments.
“Measured by incidents of use of force, one of Justice’s primary metrics, the outcomes are mixed,” the Post reported Friday. “In five of the 10 police departments for which sufficient data was provided, use of force by officers increased during and after the agreements. In five others, it stayed the same or declined.” Read more »
George Miller isn’t quite sure what a new local news organization would look like, nor how one would get funding for a startup — but he does believe there’s room in Philly’s media ecosystem for another player, especially now that the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com are laying off nearly 50 journalists and support staffers.
That’s why Miller, publisher of Jump Philly music magazine and an associate professor at Temple University, is hosting “Let’s Start Our Own News Org” tonight, a brainstorming session for those who care about Philadelphia and the media who cover the city.
“Basically, the idea was, in two weeks there are people who are losing their jobs,” he said of the layoffs at Philadelphia Media Network. “It seems like a lot of people are leaving journalism and aren’t all that upset about it, but I was upset about it — I don’t want to lose all that talent from the city.” Read more »
President Obama speaks during a press conference in Turkey. (WhiteHouse.gov)
In the wake of deadly terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, President Obama and Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf said today that the nation — and state — will continue to accept refugees from war-torn Syria.
They promised, however, that the open-door policy would be accompanied with an eye on security.
“Even as we accept more refugees, including Syrians, we do so only after subjecting them to rigorous screening and security checks,” Obama said in a press conference in Turkey. “We also have to remember that many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves, that’s what they’re fleeing. Slamming the doors in their faces would be a betrayal of our values.” Read more »
Cloe Tinchant lights candles in LOVE Park, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, during a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the attacks in Paris. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)
Good morning, Philadelphia, and happy National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. Here’s what you need to know today.
Philadelphia is expressing its solidarity with Paris, while beefing up security at home.
This weekend’s horrific terrorist attacks in Paris inspired Philadelphians to many shows of solidarity: A vigil Saturday was organized by the French Consulate, a second was held Sunday at the French International School. Philadelphia-area Muslim groups also spoke out against the attack: “We totally and unconditionally condemn all actions of violence of this nature,” Mikal Shabazz, imam at the Masjidullah in West Oak Lane, told CBS3. Memorials went up around the city — the Cira Centre, Boathouse Row, and Lit Brothers Building were all bathed in the colors of the French flag over the weekend.
More police and security were on hand at the Linc, meanwhile, for the Eagles game — and fans attending Flyers and 76ers games should expect to see similar measures. “One of the targets of Friday’s terror attacks in Paris was a soccer stadium,” CBS 3 reported. “Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said in light of that, the city won’t be taking any chances.” Read more »
Good morning, Philadelphia, and National Indian Pudding Day. Here’s what you should know today:
The former FBI agent who bugged John Street’s office in a “pay to play” investigation in 2003 is speaking out — and he has some regrets about the bug being found.
“What’s probably more disappointing to me personally than the actual device being found is the effect it had on the mayoral election,” J.J. Klaver tells NBC10. “I wish it had never been found. If I could go back in time and do it differently, I would.” At the time the bug was found, Republican Sam Katz says he was leading incumbent Street his campaign’s internal polls, though other public polls showed Street leading, albeit by a narrow margin; Street’s campaign blamed the Bush White House for the bug and Katz ended up losing. “I knew it was preposterous to say the White House ordered us to bug a sitting mayor’s office,” Klaver says now, “but I couldn’t come out and say it was preposterous.” Street was never charged in the investigation. Read more »
As expected, Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross is stepping up to take Philadelphia’s top police job, replacing retiring Commissioner Charles Ramsey, and capping a long, quarter-century climb through the department’s ranks.
Mayor-elect Jim Kenney will reportedly introduce Ross as his choice at a midday news conference.
The appointment drew quick praise from law enforcement observers.
“He will be a great leader for the department and will undoubtedly continue on the progressive path established by Commissioner Ramsey,” said SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel, who had been considered a long-shot possibility for the job. “The city will be in good hands.”
Read more »
Good morning and a good Veterans Day to you. Here’s what to know today:
Pennsylvania’s proposed budget deal will give the state the second-highest sales tax in America. Some Democrats are resisting.
“Under the proposed budget agreement, Pennsylvania’s sales tax would rise to 7.25 percent, up from 6 percent. California’s is the nation’s highest at 7.5 percent. The rate would rise to 8.25 percent in Allegheny County, where it is currently 7 percent, and to 9.25 percent in Philadelphia, where it is currently 8 percent,” AP reports. Sen. Daylin Leach said the sales tax, which falls more heavily on the state’s poor, is being raised in order to lower property taxes, which hit’s the state’s wealthier residents more. “We have the highest rate of income equality in 100 years in this country and making the tax structure more regressive makes that worse, not better,” he told AP. Read more »