The Brief: Is George Norcross Staking a Claim in Philly Politics?

George Norcross | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

George Norcross | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

1. George Norcross lands the first post-win meeting with Jim Kenney.

The gistThe Next Mayor has a juicy little scoop: George Norcross, the political kingmaker of South Jersey, was the first person to meet privately with Jim Kenney after he won the Democratic mayoral primary last week. Lauren Hitt, Kenney’s campaign spokesman, deemphasized their discussion. “Jim met with a lot of people [that] night and he invited them all back into the staff room because it was the only way to have a real conversation with anyone, given the crowd outside,” she said. Read more »

The Brief: Pay by Phone Parking Coming to Philly Really Soon

philadelphia-parking-authority-ppa-parking-ticket-2

1. Parking kiosk down again? No problem.

The gist: PlanPhilly reports that the Philadelphia Parking Authority has picked a company — Pango USA — to provide a pay by phone parking service. The cost to the consumer is one cent per transaction, PlanPhilly reports. The system could be ready to go within 60 days, but will be piloted between 4th and 20th Streets and Arch and Locust Streets first. Read more »

City Council Votes to Make Permanent the Office of LGBT Affairs

helen fitzpatrick

Director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs Helen FItzpatrick at this week’s IBA LGBT Business Leaders Luncheon. | Photo courtesy of JPG Photography

This afternoon, Philadelphia City Council passed a bill to make permanent the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, which is currently headed by Director Helen Fitzpatrick.

But the move isn’t completely official yet. In order to pass, the bill requires a change to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, which must be signed by the  Mayor and voted on by the public in the November general election. The ballot measure will read:

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Nutter Won’t Confirm Speed at Fault in Amtrak Derailment

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, center right, hugs Lori Dee Patterson, a nearby resident, after she handed him a cup of coffee after he spoke at a news conference near the scene of a deadly train derailment, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, killing at least six people and injuring dozens more. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)xx

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, center right, hugs Lori Dee Patterson, a nearby resident, after she handed him a cup of coffee after he spoke at a news conference near the scene of a deadly train derailment, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, killing at least six people and injuring dozens more. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The search for Amtrak derailment survivors has spread beyond the cars passengers were traveling in when Tuesday night’s accident occurred, Mayor Michael Nutter said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

“The search is very, very active” for missing people, including people who might’ve been thrown from the train, Nutter said. “We will not cease our efforts until we’re sure we’ve gone through every vehicle.”

Nutter refused to comment on reports the train might’ve been traveling 100 mph — in an area where rail traffic is limited to 50 mph — saying: “I don’t believe the NTSB would be in a position to confirm that … Let us please not try to speculate what you could find out in fact in a couple of days.”

Even as he spoke, though, the Associated Press reported it had seen a surveillance video showing the train exceeding 100 mph. Read more »

Philadelphia Sick Leave Law Starts Wednesday

city hall sick leave

Believe it or not, Philadelphia’s sick leave law goes into effect Wednesday.

Why would that be so hard to believe? Consider: Mayor Nutter vetoed sick leave legislation twice in recent years before undergoing a conversion on the issue. And opposition to such worker-friendly requirements is so intense that Republicans tried to block Philly’s bill in the Pennsylvania Legislature. (They’ve only passed the Senate with their bill; even if they get the House, they’d have to do so in sufficient numbers to override a likely veto from Gov. Tom Wolf.)

Now, according to some estimates, 200,000 Philadelphia workers stand to benefit. Read more »

Michael Nutter’s Top 9 Profane Moments

Photos | Top row, Jeff Fusco. Bottom row, from left, Matt Rourke/AP, Meet the Press, Matt Rourke/AP

Mayor Michael Nutter might not be swearing in these images — but the odds are decent. Photos | Top row, Jeff Fusco. Bottom row, from left, Matt Rourke/AP, Meet the Press, Matt Rourke/AP

When Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter leaves office, we’ll miss his potty mouth.

Since he was sworn in seven years ago, he has called an assortment of criminals “real assholes,” “complete assholes” and “little assholes.” He’s dubbed a proposal by the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre “a completely dumb-ass idea.” He’s said of negligent city workers, “I would kick their ass myself.”

Usually, Nutter swears in reaction to the city’s gun violence. It often comes across as genuine, like someone who is truly frustrated by the senselessness of it all. Just last week, he said a shooter was an “asshole” after wounding an 8-year-old. The downside is that Nutter’s name-calling sometimes undercuts the seriousness of a situation — is the person responsible for a child’s shooting really just an “asshole”?

Regardless, there is a political benefit to cussing: Nutter looks like a regular Joe when he lets a bad word slip. He also nearly always gets local media attention, and occasionally even wins national coverage. We’re not ashamed to add to that mountain of reports. For your profane pleasure, here are nine of Nutter’s most high-profile cusses in chronological order:

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PHOTOS: Wall to Wall Legends at Dining Out for Life Host Restaurant in Philadelphia

Last Thursday night, diners across the region headed out to their favorite restaurants for the 25th anniversary of Dining Out for Life (DOFL). ActionAIDS‘s annual event raises funds for local HIV charities by asking participating restaurants to donate 33 percent of that night’s ticket sales to the cause. As of publish date, ActionAIDS hadn’t had a chance to tally all the money raised this year, but a rep from the organization tells me that by all accounts, restaurants across the city were packed, and the event should be on track to meet or beat its yearly average of $250,000 for the region.

This year’s host restaurant was Frankford Hall in Fishtown, and, as my friend Tammy Faymous would say, the place was packed with wall-to-wall legends. There, local community leaders gathered to dine and schmooze with superstar DOFL spokespeople Mondo Guerra (Project Runway) and chef Daisy Martinez (Daisy Cooks!). Among the locals who showed up were Mayor Michael Nutter, outgoing Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) President Drew Becher, mayoral hopeful Jim Kenney and leaders of many of the city’s HIV/AIDS service organizations, like Christopher Bartlett (William Way Community Center) Ronda Goldfein (AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania) Robb Reichert (AIDS Fund) and Jane Shull (Philadelphia FIGHT). ActionAIDS sent some photographs from the restaurant. Check them out below:  



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