Sources: Police Are Considering Moving Headquarters to Old Inquirer Building

Left: 400 N. Broad Street Right: Police Administration Building (Wikimedia Commons)

L: 400 N. Broad Street R: Police Administration Building | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

In a move that would be rich with real estate-related irony, the Philadelphia Police Department is considering relocating its headquarters to the former home of the Inquirer and Daily News.

Wait, what?

You might recall that former Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration spent several years mapping out an elaborate plan to move the department’s headquarters to the grand Provident Mutual Insurance Building at 46th and Market streets in West Philadelphia. Read more »

Is Philly Doing Enough to Save Cardiac Arrest Victims?

Blah blah blah.

L to R: Philadelphia student athletes Danny Rumph and Ryan Gillyard died 10 years apart of the same heart condition. | Photos courtesy of Marcus Owens and Twitter

Last April, 15-year-old St. Joe’s Prep student Ryan Gillyard collapsed while jumping rope at his football team’s conditioning workout. Gillyard had undetected hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic disease that made his heart muscles abnormally thick, interfering with that organ’s ability to pump blood.

When the Inquirer covered the teenager’s death four months later, it became clear that an automated external defibrillator — the portable medical device that could have delivered a lifesaving shock to Gillyard’s body — was available at the practice field where he fell, but wasn’t used during the emergency. “The reason,” the newspaper said, “was unclear.”

Ten years before Gillyard died, another star athlete with the same condition collapsed during a pick-up basketball game at a Mt. Airy recreation center. The building where 21-year-old Danny Rumph was shooting hoops didn’t have a defibrillator. On Mother’s Day 2005, Viola Owens watched helplessly as her only son passed away. It took 31 minutes for an ambulance to arrive on the scene. By that time, it was too late.

In 2013, with some help from the fire department, Owens installed defibrillators in all 150 of the city’s recreation centers. But many Philadelphians still don’t know how to use those devices, or how to administer CPR. More often than not, studies show, bystanders like Owens are powerless when the unthinkable happens. And what good are emergency response tools if few people know how to use them? Read more »

Michael Nutter to Stump for Hillary Clinton in Wilmington

Photos by Matt Rourke/AP

Photos by Matt Rourke/AP

“When I support a candidate, I fully support that candidate,” said former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter back in 2008 while standing by his endorsement of Hillary Clinton in spite of growing support for her opponent Barack Obama.

“It’s what I do when I get involved in a campaign. I campaign like I’m campaigning for myself,” he said.

Nutter wasn’t exaggerating. Eight years later, he’s still in Clinton’s corner and still campaigning with just as much vigor.

On Sunday, April 17th, he’s heading to Wilmington, Delaware for a Clinton organizing event. There Nutter will join Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams, along with several Delaware state representatives and senators to plead their case for Clinton. Her campaign said in a press release that “Nutter will be joined by Mayor Dennis Williams and state and local elected officials to highlight their support for Clinton and her plans to break down the racial, social and economic barriers that hold Delaware families back.” Read more »

Op-Ed: How Kenney Proved He’s Serious About Open Data

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from guest writer Mark Headd. He was the Chief Data Officer for the City of Philadelphia from 2012 to 2014, and is now an open data evangelist advising municipal governments across the country.)

For the first time ever, Philadelphia has just made public — in easily usable formats — the salaries of every municipal employee, including elected officials. This data is now available for anyone to download freely from the city’s open data portal and will be updated quarterly.

No doubt about it — this is a major victory for journalists, good government advocates and open data enthusiasts in Philadelphia. But it’s also a victory for everyone who lives or works in the city. Here’s why: Read more »

This Cool New Tool Lets You Look Up the Salaries of City Workers

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

For years, open data advocates have been calling on Philadelphia to publish the salaries of city workers. Today, they finally prevailed: Mayor Jim Kenney announced this afternoon that the city had put the salaries of all 30,000 municipal employees (including elected officials) on OpenDataPhilly. The information will be updated every three months, according to the administration.

“This is a major win for Mayor Kenney,” says Mark Headd, Philadelphia’s former Chief Data Officer. “This says to me that he is fully committed to open data.” Read more »

Insider: Kenney Didn’t Break His Promise to End Stop-and-Frisk

Jim Kenney | Photo by Jeff Fusco

Jim Kenney | Photo by Jeff Fusco

(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from a Citified insider.)

There’s a difference between the truth and facts. Facts are plain, simple and elementary: He said X; she said Y. The truth is more complicated, more nuanced, and requires more intelligence and maturity to understand.

Here’s the truth of what’s happening with Mayor Jim Kenney and stop-and-frisk: He is not breaking his campaign promise to end the police tactic, as some have claimed. In fact, all the other mayoral candidates would be in the exact same position as he is now if they had won the election.Inline image 1 Read more »

Most Philly Voters Support a Soda Tax, Says Kenney Poll*

Fifty-seven percent of Philadelphia voters supported a soda tax last fall, according to a poll conducted for Jim Kenney’s mayoral campaign at the time. Forty percent opposed it.

That gives Kenney a head start in the public debate over the soda tax, right? Well, maybe. There are a few caveats to the results. For one thing, Kenney’s pollster asked voters whether they would back the tax as a way to reduce a financial shortfall in the school district. Earlier this month, Kenney proposed a soda tax to raise money for new initiatives, including universal pre-K, community schools and a major parks renovation — not to plug an education budget gap.

In other words, voters may respond very differently if they were asked today whether they endorse Kenney’s soda tax. But in what way? Would they turn their back on the tax, since Kenney didn’t propose it to fix a crisis? Or would they actually like it more, since Kenney wants to use it to pay for new, shiny programs? Read more »

Kenney Spokeswoman Retracts Statement Slamming Nutter Aide

Inset: Shelley Smith, via Twitter.

Inset: Shelley Smith, via Twitter.

You might remember that in January the Kenney administration — suddenly stuck defending a stop-and-frisk lawsuit it didn’t want to defend — blamed a top aide in the Nutter administration for withholding necessary information during the transition to the new mayor.

Never mind.

NewsWorks, which ran the original story featuring the accusation from Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt against former City Solicitor Shelley Smith, has now added a “clarification” to the story that amounts to a full-blown retraction by Hitt. Read more »

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