One of Mayor Nutter’s Last Proposals Is Probably Already Dead

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter walks down a blocked off Market Street, with City Hall in the background, in Philadelphia on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, before Pope Francis' trip. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter walks down Market Street, with City Hall in the background. | Photo by Mel Evans/Associated Press

Mayor Michael Nutter has two short months left in office to shape his legacy in the minds of Philadelphians.

Councilwoman Marian Tasco introduced a bill earlier this month on the mayor’s behalf that, if it passes, could easily make an appearance in future news articles about Nutter’s strikingly successful efforts to lower the city’s smoking rate. The legislation would bar cigarette sales in drug stores, a natural last move for an elected official who signed a cigarette tax into law, prohibited smoking in local parks, and helped push through a citywide smoking ban in bars and restaurants.

Just a couple weeks after the drug store proposal was introduced, though, it looks as if it’s already dead. Read more »

This Bill Would Ban Cigarette Sales In Drug Stores

Mayor Michael Nutter wants to prohibit cigarette sales in drug stores throughout Philadelphia, in hopes of persuading more smokers to kick the habit.

Councilwoman Marian Tasco introduced a bill on behalf of the Nutter administration Thursday that would ban the sale of tobacco products in any establishments that offer “health services,” including stores that sell pharmaceutical drugs.

Mark McDonald, a spokesman for Nutter, said the bill could reduce tobacco sales in the city by 6 percent.  Read more »

Wawa’s Flagship at Broad and Walnut Has Opened

Wawa Trophies

Photo | Dan McQuade

Mayor Michael Nutter stood at the podium and braced the crowd for a special announcement.

“It is my understanding that it is quite possible, because of where he he lives… that Pope Francis has never had a Wawa hoagie,” Nutter said. “I’m pleased to announce that we expect to serve Pope Francis a Wawa hoagie. I don’t know what he likes, but he can have anything he wants!”

Nutter was at the new flagship Wawa location at Broad and Walnut in the old Robinson Luggage. It opened two months ahead of schedule Friday morning. It is the first new store to open in Center City in about three decades. Wawa “goose-in-chief” (president and CEO) Chris Gheysens said more could be coming.

“Wawa and Philadelphia go together,” Gheysens told Philadelphia magazine. “Philadelphia is our hometown. It was a perfect storm of great location. There’s so much great going on in Center City and in Philadelphia. Frankly, our brand and our strategies have changed to allow us to do something like this.”

The flagship Wawa’s opening was such a joyous event Philadelphians didn’t even boo the mayor. Read more »

Will the Pope’s Visit Cost Taxpayers Money?


When Philadelphia hosts big events like Made in America or the Wawa-sponsored Fourth of July bash, City Hall usually does the same thing. It signs an agreement with the event organizers, spelling out exactly which services it will supply, from police to trash removal, and who will pick up the tab for them.

In a little over week, Pope Francis will be in Philly. But guess what?

The Nutter administration says it doesn’t have a contract ironed out yet with the World Meeting of Families, according to a report by Read more »

Yet Another Person Thinks L&I’s Commissioner Should Quit

From L to R: L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams and City Controller Alan Butkovitz | Photos by the Associated Press

From L to R: L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams and City Controller Alan Butkovitz | Photos by the Associated Press

After repeatedly bashing the Licenses & Inspection department over the past few months, Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz upped the ante Wednesday by calling for the head of the agency to quit.

Butkovitz said L&I has been “chaos” under L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams. Citing a new investigation of the department, Butkovitz said overtime has been abused, dangerous homes have been left to fester, and more than 1,900 building inspections have been conducted by employees who lack the adequate certification.

“He’s the captain of the ship and it’s his job to find a way to get it done,” said Butkovitz. “And instead of getting it done, he’s been interested in making it appear like things are better.” Read more »

Mayor on Pope’s Visit: I’m The “Cheerleader in Chief”

Mayor Nutter - as an SNL Cheerleader

Photo Illustration | Dan McQuade

At the ninth papal visit press briefing of the year this morning, Mayor Michael Nutter attempted to assuage city residents’ fears and exasparations about Pope Francis’ visit in 10 days. He called himself the “cheerleader in chief.”

“Our entire city is hosting Pope Francis, not just one section,” Nutter said. “When you watch the national news coverage, no one reports that Center City is where Pope Francis is visiting.… Philadelphians of every religious persuasion as well of those with no particular religious beliefs, ought to be excited.”

City officials (and media coverage) originally painted a crush of people coming into Philadelphia as overwhelming. Now, hotels are slashing prices in the wake of vacancies, and there is concern people may have been scared away.

The mayor says he wants Philadelphians to attend. “Some people will decide, ‘I want to go down the shore,’” he said. “Some people will just decide to watch on TV. I’m not going to drag people out of their houses and say, ‘Yo, you gotta go.’” Read more »

Mayor Nutter: Don’t Worry, Be Happy About the Pope’s Visit!


Maybe you’re not all that jazzed about Pope Francis’ visit next month. You’re not sure how you’re going to get to work, what with the road closures and limited SEPTA service. Or you’re unconvinced the event is worth all the trouble that the city is going to. Or you just don’t like crowds.


That was the general message of a press conference Wednesday held by Mayor Michael Nutter, World Meeting of Families executive director Donna Farrell, and other officials. “Now is the time for all of us to get excited!” said a totally stoked Farrell. “Now is the time of all of us to declare, ‘I’ll be there!'” Read more »

Finally, a One-Stop Shop for All Your Questions About the Pope’s Visit


Pope Francis | neneo / Mayor Nutter | Jeff Fusco

There will soon be a one-stop shop for all of your #PopeinPhilly needs.

Mayor Michael Nutter announced Thursday that the World Meeting of Families is publishing a comprehensive guide for residents about Pope Francis’ September visit to Philadelphia. It will include information on the event itself, road closures, security measures, transportation options and more.

The “Papal Visit Playbook” will be available here on August 24th at noon. Residents can register at that website to receive an alert when it is posted online. Read more »

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