Temple Trustee: Yeah, We Want to Build That $100M Stadium

Morning headlines: Dems ascendant in once-Republican Montco.

The Temple Owl mascot leads the team onto the field during an October 10, 2015, game against Tulane at Lincoln Financial Field.

Good morning, Philadelphia, and happy Friday. Here’s what you need to know today:

Temple University wants to build a $100 million, 35,000-capacity stadium at the north western edge of its campus.

7-0 Temple just cracked the AP college football Top 25. So what better time to formally acknowledge that the university aims to build an on-campus football stadium near 15th and Norris Streets? Temple University Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick O’Connor told the Inquirer that the matter would be discussed at a December trustees meeting, and said “we have already gotten some seven-figure commitments” for the project. Said O’Connor: “We don’t want to use tuition dollars for this.”

The university’s ambitions have been plain for some time (Philly Mag explored the pros and cons of an on-campus stadium a year ago). By the standards of college football stadiums, Temple’s is a relatively modest proposal. Beaver Stadium at Penn State, for instance, has a capacity of 107,000. But the wide open spaces of Happy Valley don’t much resemble the dense blocks of North Philly. How will neighbors — and Council President Darrell Clarke, who represents the area — react to Temple’s plan? (Inquirer)

Montgomery County’s GOP — a powerhouse until 2010 — is fractured and has little hope of recapturing control of the county.

Montco residents will pick their county commissioners next week, and the two Democratic incumbents — Josh Shapiro and Val Arkoosh — are running a harmonious tandem campaign, and are clear favorites to win. On the GOP side? Division and acrimony. In the primary, insurgent 26-year-old Joe Gale narrowly beat out one of the two party-backed candidates, and now Gale is busy blasting the county’s Republican leadership. Gale or the other GOP nominee, Steve Tolbert, will win the seat being vacated by Bruce Castor, who’s running for Montgomery County district attorney. But one wonders where the county’s GOP would be if three Democrats could run for the three commissioner slots.

Shapiro, who has been widely credited with balancing the county’s budget and restoring order to the commissioners, helps explain the current Dem strength in Montco. But changing voter preferences in the county probably play the larger role. Marcel Groen, the state Democratic party chair, said to Newsworks of Montco voters: “We used to call them Rockefeller Republicans. Now we call them Democrats.” (Newsworks)

The school district’s substitute teacher outsourcing experiment is a flop, but at least the district isn’t paying much for it. 

The School District of Philadelphia contracted with a firm called Source4Teachers, which promised to supply substitutes for at least 75 percent of teacher absences at the beginning of the school year and 90 percent by January. Turns out the company isn’t close to providing that level of service; its best day so far is a 28 percent fill rate. That’s left city schools scrambling to find adults to keep an eye on kids, making for “a chaotic, demoralizing start” to the school year, as the Notebook put it.

But at least the District isn’t paying much for that privilege. The Notebook got a copy of the district’s contract with the company, and the terms stipulate that the District can only be billed for the substitute teachers who actually show up, and not the phantoms that were promised. Schools Superintendent Bill Hite said last week “my patience has run out” and that the district would sever its relationship with the firm without dramatic improvement. (Notebook)

Kathleen Kane releases her dirt on State Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin.

The embattled state attorney general made public 48 emails; and yes, many of them were porny. Eakin looks to have sent only three of the emails; one of which included a cartoon depicting a crude joke but no nudity, while the other two included “off-color chatter with golfing buddies, in part about a club called Dollhouse,” as the Inquirer described it.

Eakin apologized for the emails a week ago. Kane has, of course, been threatening to release porny emails involving all manner of state officials for a long time now. In releasing Eakin’s emails, Kane said they showed that the high court’s Judicial Conduct Board was wrong to conclude Eakin had committed no ethics violation. Also yesterday, in the Kane chronicles? The suspension of her law license formally took effect. (Inquirer)

Rizzo, the play, had its opening night.

Theater Exile’s Rizzo, based mostly on Sal Paolantonio’s biography of the former mayor, opened in front a power-packed crowd at the Christ Church Neighborhood House. Old Rizzo hand Marty Weinberg was there. So was Democratic mayoral nominee Jim Kenney.

Vice used the occasion to look back on the Rizzo years, and argues that Philadelphia “is still living with Frank Rizzo’s police force.” How so? Vice cites the cop-friendly pension deals Mayor Rizzo negotiated, the department’s longstanding (though recently improving) problems with use of force, and contract terms that make disciplining officers who get out of a line a real challenge.  (Philly MagVice)