UIL Says It’s Not Done Pursuing PGW

At this point, UIL Holdings — the Connecticut company that wants so badly to buy and privatize Philadelphia Gas Works — resembles the old guy from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Yes, he’s in bad health. Yes, the future is dim. But he’s hanging on. “I’M NOT DEAD YET!” he screams.

Despite City Council’s unequivocal rejection of the sale, the company said late Monday afternoon it’s not ready to terminate its purchase agreement. According to a press release:
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Mayor: Council Is Fibbing! Council: Nuh-Uh!

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

So City Council has just released a rebuttal to a rebuttal to a letter summarily rejecting the sale of PGW. At least, I think that’s where things stand. It seems like everyone has a lot to say. Maybe — and I’m just spitballing here — a hearing on the proposed sale would have been a good place to air some of these issues out?

There will be no hearing on the sale, of course, which is at the root of this dysfunctional display. After two years, $21.3 million spent by the leading bidder, and two expensive reports from different analysts, Mayor Nutter figured he would at least get a Council hearing on the potential sale. Council President Darrell L. Clarke and the rest of council leadership — in what increasingly looks like a big political misstep — figured if council didn’t want the deal, why waste time with hearings?

You’ll find Council’s latest salvo below, as well as the Nutter administration’s effective, if dense, six pages of spin on the sale, which was first published last week by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

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PHOTOS: City Announces Plans to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Nation’s First LGBT Protests

Barbara Gittings at an Annual Reminder in 1966.

Barbara Gittings at an Annual Reminder in 1966.

A lot of folks may not know this, but the nation’s first LGBT protests happened right here in our City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. The occasion is considered by many to be the birth of the LGBT civil rights movement.

It all started on the Fourth of July in 1965 when LGBT leaders Barbara Gittings and Washington’s Frank Kameny marched in front of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell shouting calls of equality for LGBT people. The protests, nicknamed “Annual Reminders,” continued every Fourth of July until 1969.

Pretty cool, huh?

City leaders certainly think so. They think it’s so cool, in fact, that Mayor Nutter and Equality Forum are teaming up to put together a four-day celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Reminder, which will kickoff on July 2, 2015 and continue through the 5th. Plans for the festivities were unveiled at a press conference yesterday, attended by Mayor Nutter, Equality Forum Executive Director Malcolm Lazin, members of the Philadelphia and Los Angeles Gay Men’s Choruses, among others.

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PHOTOS: Community Gathers at City Hall Rainbow Flag-Lowering in Honor of Gloria Casarez

This afternoon Mayor Michael Nutter hosted an emotional flag-lowering ceremony at City Hall to honor his administration’s Director of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs, Gloria Casarez. Casarez passed away on Sunday after a long battle with cancer.

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Mayor Nutter to Honor Gloria Casarez With Rainbow Flag Lowering

gloria casarez

The City of Philadelphia just announced via its Facebook page that Mayor Nutter will host a rainbow-flag-lowering ceremony to honor the life of Gloria Casarez this afternoon at 1 p.m.

Casarez—who served as the first director for the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs—passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. She was 42 years old.

The ceremony will take place this afternoon(October 20th), at 1 p.m., at City Hall. Full details below:

WHAT: Mayor Nutter, City officials and employees and members of the Philadelphia community will celebrate the life of Gloria Casarez, the first Director of the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affairs, who passed away yesterday, with a flag lowering ceremony.

Mayor Nutter has ordered that the rainbow flag, which is currently being flown in honor of LGBT History Month, will be lowered to half staff.

WHERE: City Hall, Dilworth Plaza Northeast Corner Flag Poles

WHEN: Monday, October 20, 2014 1:00 p.m. TODAY

Is Mayor Nutter Making Nice on Pot Decriminalization?

It looks as though Mayor Nutter is charting a new course on pot decriminalization.

Newsworks reports that the mayor — who still has several weeks to veto or approve City Council’s decriminalization bill — is now working on his own plan to deal with small-time possession.

What’s more, he’s dropped the sneering tone that accompanied his previous statements on the topic — and seems surprised that anybody thought there was a conflict on the topic.

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