Bedbugs Found at Two Library Branches
Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today.
The discovery of bedbugs has forced several branches of the Free Library to temporarily close. Not that library officials want you to know this.
The Northeast Regional Branch on Cottman Avenue closed Wednesday, then the Holmesburg Library closed Thursday due to the problem, NBC10 reports. Officials haven’t exactly been going out of their way to publicize the problem, however, for fear it will discourage residents from going to the library. “Patrons have not been notified because we handled the issue quickly…. That’s not part of our protocol,” a library official told the station, adding: “I would say it’s not a big problem because libraries are not places that house infestations of bedbugs. People don’t sleep in libraries.” That seems like wishful thinking. In any case, the Holmesburg branch is expected to re-open today.
Under increasing political pressure, D.A. Seth Williams hasn’t fired the “Porngate” prosecutors in his office. But he has switched around their jobs a bit.
The Daily News reports that Frank Fina is being reassigned special-investigations unit to the civil-litigation unit. Marc Costanzo moves from special investigations to appeals. Patrick Blessington is going from insurance fraud to the post-conviction-relief-act unit. “The transfer is intended to let the citizens of Philadelphia know that we’re moving forward with this, we’re going to put this behind us,” one official said. The reassignments came the same day the City Council voted to ask Williams to fire the prosecutors, however; it remains to be seen if shuffling them to different offices will mollify critics.
City Council has moved closer to approving a franchise agreement with Comcast to deliver Internet and cable service in Philadelphia for 15 more years.
Philly Mag’s Jared Shelly reports on the agreement. Some highlights: Comcast will be held to specific customer-service standards. This is in regards to things like missed service appointments and service outages. The company can be forced to pay up to $500,000 per year if they fail to comply. To join Internet Essentials, you no longer have to be without Comcast service for 90 days first. But the city is paying for it. The requirement will be waived for five years and is contingent upon the city’s offer to subsidize each Internet Essentials customer at a cost of $20 per customer per month — up to a maximum of $170,000 per year. The company will provide career and technical education to high school seniors — and will hire 50-100 of them each year. It’ll work with the School District of Philadelphia to develop the program. See Shelly’s full report for more details.
Following the San Bernardino massacre, Sen. Pat Toomey says he’s willing to go to bat for some gun-control legislation.
“Amid a national clamor for stricter gun laws, Sen. Pat Toomey, (R-PA), on Thursday said he would back gun legislation that would expand background checks,” PennLive reports. “Toomey said that amid a “fluid” situation with regards to the potential amendments, he would support and co-sponsor an amendment substantively similar to the one he helped broker in 2013 with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin.” The policy would expand background checks on gun purchasers beyond stores and to sales made at gun shows and over the Internet. Still exempt? Private sales between family and friends. But Toomey’s not sure that the landscape has changed much since the proposal originated (and failed) two years ago. “I doubt the vote totals have changed very much.”
Democrats have given the media a first look at the 2016 DNC to be held in Philadelphia.
“Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and the Democratic National Convention Committee, led by the Rev. Leah D. Daughtry, welcomed nearly 500 members of the media on Thursday to the Wells Fargo Center arena, home to the 76ers basketball and Flyers ice hockey teams,” WFMZ reports. “It was the first of two opportunities for local, national and international journalists to tour the arena, learn more about the 21,000-seat venue and plan their coverage of the four-day convention, which is set to begin July 25.” More than 30,000 delegates, dignitaries, and other participants are expected to be on hand for the event.