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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Councilman Wants to Outlaw Selling Your Public Parking Space

Monkey Parking A Philadelphia City Councilman wants to outlaw a new app that allows you to sell your public parking space to the next driver. Councilman Bill Greenlee says MonkeyParking, already in service in other cities, should be against the law in Philadelphia.

Here’s how MonkeyParking works: You note your public parking space in the app. When you want to leave, your space goes to the highest bidder. If you’re driving and you need a space, instead of circling around the block a bunch of times, you tell MonkeyParking how much you’re willing to pay for a spot and the app directs you to a user nearby who’s about to leave their spot.

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Nutter Still Wants PGW Sale Hearing

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Though seemingly dead for good after a City Council announcement on Monday, there may still be life in the proposal to sell Philadelphia Gas Works to a private company.

Mayor Nutter, for example, hopes the deal can be resuscitated — saying the proposal should’ve received public hearings before a decision was made.
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Councilman Calls for Hearing on Bed Bugs

Photo by Piotr Naskrecki, courtesy of CDC/Harvard University.

Photo by Piotr Naskrecki, courtesy of CDC/Harvard University.

Councilman Mark Squilla is calling for a City Council hearing on bed bugs, saying he’s heard anecdotal evidence they’re becoming more prevalent in Philadelphia, particularly in the city’s rowhouses.

“Neighbors have had bed bugs, and it’s creeping into their properties,” he tells KYW Newsradio, “and those people can’t afford to get the bed bugs exterminated.  If you have a person who is on a fixed income, and they found out they have bed bugs, the cost could be thousands of dollars in extermination fees, not counting materials you might have to buy to encase your mattresses and get rid of some of the stuff you have.”
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Officials: “We Have the Tools” To Manage Ebola in Philly

Nurse Nina Pham, right, is assisted off of a plane to a waiting ambulance after arriving at Frederick Municipal Airport, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Frederick, Md. Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan before he died of the same virus.  Philadelphia City Council held a hearing Thursday to determine whether the city is ready for Ebola's arrival here.

Nurse Nina Pham, right, is assisted off of a plane to a waiting ambulance after arriving at Frederick Municipal Airport, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Frederick, Md. Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan before he died of the same virus. Philadelphia City Council held a hearing Thursday to determine whether the city is ready for Ebola’s arrival here. | Associated Press

City Council held a hearing Thursday to determine if Philly is ready to meet the challenge of Ebola appearing here. The answer? Yes. Maybe.

Mostly, there was confidence. But there was one caveat.

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This Is the Monster We Celebrate on Columbus Day

Sebastiano del Piombo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sebastiano del Piombo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A version of this story ran in 2012.

Imagine, if you will, that the man who murdered your entire family, raped your daughter, sister, and mother before killing them, tortured your son, brother, and father before killing them, and then robbed you of your home before moving in is celebrated with a party each year by his friends whom he had later brought in to take over your neighborhood. Well, that’s exactly the outlandishly evil shit that Columbus did and the outlandishly racist shit that his friends in Philly and America are doing. Read more »

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