Paul Steinke, Former Reading Terminal Manager, Will Announce City Council Bid

Paul Steinke (right) at Reading Terminal Market. Photo | Facebook

Paul Steinke (right) at Reading Terminal Market. Photo | Facebook

The Philadelphia City Council at-large race is starting to get crowded. Democrat Paul Steinke, who stepped down from his position as general manager of the Reading Terminal Market last month, will officially announce Tuesday that he’s running for an at-large seat in the May 19th primary.

His announcement is taking place at the Field House, a sports bar across from — where else? — Reading Terminal. More from the Steinke campaign’s announcement:

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Will State Bigfoot Philly on Paid Sick Leave?

Illustration courtesy of Shutterstock.

Illustration courtesy of Shutterstock.

The debate over mandatory paid sick leave in Philadelphia has been a lively one. Traditional liberals, which includes most of City Council, support paid sick leave. More business friendly Democrats, such as Mayor Nutter, oppose it. Council has twice passed paid sick leave bills, and Nutter has twice vetoed them.

But just when it looked like Nutter and Council were getting close to a compromise on sick leave, two state senators have announced that they plan on introducing a bill that would strip all municipalities from enacting sick leave ordinances. It’s not a coincidence. The bill is explicitly aimed at Philadelphia. The sponsors are Republican Senator John Eichelberger and Democratic Senator Lisa Boscola.

They write: Read more »

“Con Artist” Considers Run for City Council

Daily News reporter William Bender wasn’t kidding.

In an article published today, Bender chronicles the bizarre tale of Lewis Thomas III, who is considering running for Philadelphia’s 5th District Council seat if Council President Darrell Clarke decides to run for mayor.

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Nutter Seeks Compromise on Sick Leave

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Mayor Nutter says he’s seeking compromise with City Council on a bill that would require Philly businesses to offer paid sick leave to employees.

Nutter has vetoed two previous bills on the matter, but says he’s ready to approve one. But not quite on the terms being offered by Councilman Bill Greenlee, the bill’s sponsor.
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Jim Kenney Tweets: About Pot, Soft Porn, Jasmine Oil and the Pope

jim kenney philly

Almost three years ago, writing for the Daily News, Citified’s own Holly Otterbein and DN staffer Will Bender broke the news that City Councilman Jim Kenney was paying social media company Chatterblast $28,000 to, basically, tweet for him. “I, at 53 years old, do not have that facility,” Kenney told the Daily News back then.

Au contraire, councilman.

You’ve heard about Kenney’s Twitter feed. The jabs at Chris Christie. The occasional cursing at constituents. The mystery of who tweeted his “Legalize Now!” call to arms. That was entertaining enough, as far as it went. But those are just the made-for-radio hits. We at Citified challenge you to go deeper, to check out the B-sides; his obsession with Fox 29, his opinion on exotic fragrances, his not-remotely-blind items about the Nutter administration, his justifiable fury at d-bags in bars. Kenney’s Twitter feed is Philadelphia’s id, parsed into thousands of 140-character bits. The hoagiemouth veritably oozes through the screen.

“Twitter is kind of stupid and it’s kind of funny and it’s supposed to be used that way,” says Kenney, who might run for mayor but probably won’t. “People take it way too serious. This is basically throwaway crap you do when the feeling hits you.”

But enough preamble. Here’s what happens when the feeling hits Kenney.

Kenney tweets… about pop culture.
Kenney tweets… about social justice and the man.
Kenney tweets… about the vagaries and tribulations of life.
Kenney tweets… about exotic scents.
Kenney tweets… about the mysterious, majestical and grotesque nature of Philadelphia.
Kenney tweets… about the Nutter administration.
Kenney tweets… about dopes on Twitter.
Kenney tweets… about Fox 29.
Kenney tweets… about d-bags in bars.
Kenney tweets… about marijuana decriminalization.
Kenney tweets… about Sriracha.
Kenney tweets… about the media.
Kenney tweets… about the mutterland.
Kenney tweets… about sports.
Kenney tweets… about the pope.
Kenney tweets… about unblocking me on Twitter.
Kenney tweets… about It’s a Wonderful Life.
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Franny Rizzo Not Running for Mayor After All

Frank Rizzo Jr

AP | JOSEPH KACZMAREK

Several months ago, Frank Rizzo, the son, submitted to a lie-detector test. He did so to prove that he was running for mayor for legitimate reasons, and not, as some suspected, to benefit State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams. (He would have peeled away votes from a white challenger, the thinking went.) Franny passed the test, I wrote about it, and then nobody heard from him again.

Perhaps we should have also tested him on whether he was really serious about his mayoral bid. Turns out, he wasn’t. Rizzo told me by phone yesterday that he had changed his mind, and will instead run to reclaim his at-large seat in City Council, as a Democrat. (Rizzo had been a Republican his entire career, until losing his 2011 re-election bid.)

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It’s Time to End Philly’s Horse-and-Carriage Rides

It’s not every day that New York looks around and says, “This place is too crowded, too dirty, too rough to deliver an acceptable quality of life.”

But next week, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is slated to introduce legislation that would phase out the city’s horse-drawn carriage rides, a popular tourist attraction that’s significantly less popular with animal-rights activists (as well as any sentient person who has spent more than 15 minutes in modern-day city).

“We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period,” de Blasio told the New York Post shortly after being elected. “There are some moving parts to work out. But we are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape. … They are not humane, they are not appropriate for the year 2014. It’s over. So, just watch us do it.”

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PGW Sale: Not Dead Yet

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

No, the City Council doesn’t show much sign of budging. And yes, UIL Holdings — the Connecticut company that has spent most of 2014 trying to buy Philadelphia Gas Works from the city, said last week it’ll walk away from the deal when its contract expires at the end of December.

But the PGW sale isn’t dead yet. Close, but not quite.

Philadelphia Business Journal reports that UIL officials are continuing to meet with and lobby city officials, hoping that the sale can be put on the City Council agenda for one of the year’s two remaining scheduled meetings — or that an additional meeting can be scheduled for just that purpose. The Journal talked to UIL spokesman Michael West:
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