Morning Headlines: L&I Officials Request $2 Million From City Council

Photo credit: Julia Rowe via Flickr.

Photo credit: Julia Rowe via Flickr.

City-owned blight may be the hardest to get rid of, but in the meantime Licenses and Inspections has been making an effort where it can. Yesterday, L&I petitioned City Council for an additional $2 million to their funding.

If Council approves the request, according to the Inquirer’s Claudia Vargas, L&I believes it could “demolish 650 buildings and seal 1,400 in the fiscal year that starts July 1, and hire an additional 34 employees, including 26 building inspectors.”

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Philly City Council Bans E-Cigarette Use in Public Spaces

Were you an e-cigarette user who was happy you could vape in your favorite non-smoking bar? Right: I used past tense, because City Council unanimously voted to ban e-cigarette use in public spaces Thursday afternoon. E-Cigarettes will now be treated like plain old regular cigarettes — you can’t smoke them in public, and you can’t buy them if you’re under 18.

The Inquirer notes today’s hearing featured an e-cigarette advocate vaping right on the floor of City Council!

Gregory Conley, a research fellow at The Heartland Institute, used his e-cigarette while testifying in Council Thursday. No vapor could be seen. “Now, did I just use my electronic cigarette?” he asked. “You have no hope of enforcing this bill, so you’re just passing something for the sake of passing it.”

The bills will go into effect if Mayor Nutter signs them. No word if the pope weighed in on the matter.

[NBC 10 | Inquirer]

Interview: Matthew Wolfe’s Uphill Battle for City Council

Matthew Wolfe and his wife, Denise Furey.

Matthew Wolfe and his wife, Denise Furey.

Matt Wolfe, a Philadelphia attorney and Republican, on Thursday announced his candidacy for the City Council seat recently vacated by Bill Green. He has almost no chance of winning the May 20 election: In a town where Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans, Dem candidate Ed Neilson would have a hard time losing.

That doesn’t deter Wolfe, who wants to “shake up “ City Hall on issues ranging from taxes to city services to the relationship between the city and Harrisburg. After his announcement, he spoke to Philly Mag about his candidacy this week. Some excerpts:

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The One Question That Really Matters About the Proposed PGW Sale

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Mayor Michael Nutter’s proposal to sell the city-owned Philadelphia Gas Works to a Connecticut utility holding company for nearly $1.9 billion goes before a skeptical City Council for review in the next few weeks. And while some of that skepticism arises from Council’s frosty relationship with the mayor, some of it also has a legitimate policy basis.

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