Report: SEPTA, Union Making Progress on a Deal

SEPTA-bus-fusco

Action News is reporting SEPTA and Transit Workers Union Local 234, the transit agency’s largest union, are making progress toward a deal. A source told Channel 6 the sides are “getting close.”

SEPTA’s union voted unanimously to authorize a strike on Sunday, and TWU President Willie Brown said Monday he wouldn’t make a decision on when to strike until late in the week.

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President Obama Will Be at Temple on Sunday

President Barack Obama will headline a campaign event for Tom Wolf on Sunday at Temple’s Liacouras Center. Sunday’s event is at 4 p.m. — so good on Wolf for making sure it does not conflict with Sunday’s 1 p.m. Eagles game. The election is next Tuesday.

Tickets to the Obama/Wolf rally at the Liacouras Center are free. They can be picked up at any one of Wolf’s district offices, including 1337 Castle Avenue in South Philly and 1212 Walnut Street downtown.

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“Band of Brothers” Heroes to Get Statues in Philadelphia

Edward “Babe” Heffron and William “Wild Bill” Guarnere — two World War II heroes from South Philly immortalized in the book and miniseries Band of Brothers — will be honored with bronze statues somewhere in the city.

Heffron’s statue will be near where he grew up, at the Herron Playground at 2nd and Reed streets in South Philly. It will be dedicated next year. Guarnere, who lost a leg in the Battle of the Bulge, will get a statue likely near the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Philadelphia Korean War Memorial in Center City. Family and friends of the two men raised the money for these statues separately.

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WATCH: Chris Christie to Heckler: ‘Sit Down and Shut Up’

It was just earlier this month when I complained there hadn’t been a great/embarrassing Chris Christie rant in a while. But then we got him saying he’s tired of talking about the minimum wage, and that the GOP needs to win this election so they’re in control for when people vote in 2016.

And now he’s told a constituent to sit down and shut up! He’s picking up the slack.

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Council Calling SRC, Teachers Back to Bargaining Table

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

It’s not easy to get unanimity from the Philadelphia City Council. But every single member has signed on to sponsor a resolution asking the School Reform Commission and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers to call a truce in their battle and head back to the negotiating table.

“Everybody knows in our city, you’ve got to negotiate,” said Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, who introduced the resolution, then got each of her colleagues to sign on as sponsor. “Our school system’s in too much trouble not to negotiate to resolve these issues.”

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Philly Comcast Subscriber? You’re (Maybe) About to Get Some Goodies.

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Comcast has settled a lawsuit alleging it overcharged Philly-area customers for cable TV subscribers — and that means current and former subscribers are going to be eligible for some goodies … if the settlement is approved by a judge.

Reuters reports:

The preliminary settlement, which requires court approval, calls for Comcast to pay $16.67 million in cash to current and former subscribers in Philadelphia and four nearby counties.

Comcast will also offer current subscribers as much as $33.33 million in services via a $15 bill credit or free Internet upgrades or movies worth up to $43.90.

Ars Technica gives some background:

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ThinkFest Preview: Taney Dragons Coach Alex Rice on Uniting the City

Coach Alex Rice, left, with members of the team. (

Coach Alex Rice, left, with members of the Dragons. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

Philadelphians were enthralled by a baseball team this summer, but it wasn’t the Phillies. The Taney Dragons advanced all the way to the Little League World Series, with star pitcher Mo’ne Davis capturing the heart of the city — and the nation. (The team’s players reflected on their big moment in the latest issue of Philadelphia magazine.)

Next month at Philly Mag’s ThinkFest, Talk Radio 1210 host Chris Stigall will interview Dragons coach Alex Rice about how his team united the city and the lessons Philadelphians can learn from the sense of togetherness sparked by the team’s incredible run.

Join us on November 14th at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business for a day of the city’s smartest people sharing their biggest ideas. Read all of our ThinkFest 2014 previews here, and buy your tickets today.

10 Reasons Cheyney Alumni Are Suing Pennsylvania and the Federal Government

cheyney-940x540

A coalition known as “Heeding Cheyney’s Call” (HCC), which consists of Cheyney University alumni, students, professors, staffers, and retirees, as well as community activists, religious leaders, and elected officials, today is suing the Commonwealth (full suit below) for continuing what we believe are decades-long civil rights violations against this great school.

HCC is also suing the federal government, claiming that it’s stood idly by and enabling those violations by doing nothing to stop them. You want proof? Here’s the good, i.e., Cheyney’s greatness, the bad, i.e., racial discrimination, and the ugly, i.e., well, that’s the previously mentioned racial discrimination stuff.

Let me count the ways: All 10 of’ ’em:

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Analysis: What the PGW Flop Means

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Philadelphia’s bid to become the nation’s next great energy hub is a stool built on three legs. The pitch goes a little like this.

“Hey petrochemical and energy behemoths, Philly is the city that loves you back. 1) We’re just 100 miles from the Marcellus Shale, the biggest gas reserve in the nation. 2) We’ve got infrastructure! Ports. Rail lines. Refineries. Proximity to markets. 3) The political climate is warm and welcoming. Come on down. You’re going to get those approvals, you’ve got a political class anxious for jobs and economic development. No undue hassles here!”

On Monday, in rejecting the privatization of the city-owned Philadelphia Gas Works, City Council gave a swift kick to that third leg of the stool.

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