Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On This Date In History

Wednesday, December 31st
The 366th day of 2008.
There are 0 days left in the year.

On Dec. 31, 1946, President Harry S. Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.

On Dec. 31, 1869, Henri Matisse, one of the foremost painters of 20th century French art, was born.

On this date in:

1775 - The British repulsed an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at Quebec; Montgomery was killed.

1857 - Britain's Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.

1862 - President Abraham Lincoln signed an act admitting West Virginia to the Union.

1879 - Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light in Menlo Park, N.J.

1961 - The Marshall Plan expired after distributing more than $12 billion in foreign aid.

1974 - Private U.S. citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.

1978 - Taiwanese diplomats struck their colors for the final time from the embassy flagpole in Washington, D.C., marking the end of diplomatic relations with the United States.

1985 - Rock singer Rick Nelson, 45, and six other people were killed when fire broke out aboard a DC-3 that was taking the group to a New Year's Eve performance in Dallas.

1986 - A fire at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, killed 97 and injured 140 people.

1993 - Entertainer Barbra Streisand performed her first paid concert in 22 years, singing to a sellout crowd at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

1997 - Michael Kennedy, 39-year-old son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was killed in a skiing accident on Aspen Mountain in Colorado.

2004 - Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych resigned, acknowledging that he had little hope of reversing the presidential election victory of his Western-leaning rival, Viktor Yushchenko.

2006 - The death toll for Americans killed in the Iraq war reached 3,000.


Update: Philadelphia Library Closings Blocked

Judge's Ruling Spares, For Now, 11 Libraries Set To Close Today

A judge dealt a crushing blow to Mayor Nutter's plan to balance the city budget yesterday, ordering him to immediately halt plans to shutter 11 library branches at the close of business today.

Common Pleas Judge Idee Fox ruled in favor of seven library patrons and three City Council members who sued Nutter last week, citing a 20-year-old ordinance requiring Council approval to close city buildings.

Nutter's administration vowed an appeal to the state Commonwealth Court. Nutter called Fox's ruling a "complete violation of the fundamental tenets" of the city's Home Rule Charter.

Fox, speaking to a packed courtroom after a two-day hearing, said Nutter could have presented his plan for library closures to Council for consideration.

"He did not do that," she said.

Fox also dismissed an announcement from Nutter Monday that he was seeking nonprofit agencies to operate programs in the 11 branches. City attorneys argued in court that the buildings were not really being closed.

"Closed is closed," said Fox, who had noted that no plans to reopen the buildings would be in place by Friday, the first day they would stop being libraries. "The mayor used the word closed."

Nutter yesterday said his staff "will make every effort to comply with the judge's order."

Sources familiar with how Nutter's administration is now preparing for that say the 11 branches set for closure will be open on a reduced schedule, likely a few days a week, staffed by library employees being paid overtime. That reduced schedule could eventually spread to every library branch in the city.

The 11 branch closures would save the city $36 million from now until 2013. City officials have repeatedly warned that those savings would have to come from elsewhere in the budget if the 11 branches remained open.

Amy Dougherty, executive director of the Friends of The Free Library, testified Monday that her group had suggested "equitable service cuts across the system." That would solve the city's budget problem with "shared sacrifice," Dougherty added.

Nutter on Nov. 6 announced plans to close the branches, among other budget cuts. The city faces a deficit of at least $1 billion in the five-year financial plan.

Nutter is now expected to ask Council to consider legislation approving the library closures.

excerpt from article By CHRIS BRENNAN
published Wed., Dec. 31, 2008
Philadelphia Daily News
Page A3


Continued:

City Solicitor: We Will Appeal Judge's Ruling On Library Closures

City Solicitor Shelley Smith just told PhillyClout that her department will file an appeal of the order just issued by Common Pleas Court Judge Idee Fox that put an immediate stop to Mayor Nutter's plan to close 11 library branches as of 5 p.m. tomorrow. The closures were part of Nutter's plan to close a $1 billion-plus gap in the city's five-year financial plan.

"The city needs to appeal this ASAP because of the finances," Smith said. "The city needs to appeal this because of the principle."

At issue is section 16-203 of the Philadelphia Code, passed by Council over then-Mayor W. Wilson Goode Sr.'s objections, which requires the mayor to get Council approval before closing any city buildings. A Common Pleas Court judge in 1988 ruled that the new law violated the city Charter. Council appealed and a Commonwealth Court judge returned the case to the lower court, where it didn't go any further.

"Obviously we're disappointed," Smith said of Fox's ruling. "Hopefully a Commonwealth Court judge will see it differently."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Skaters Jump In as Foreclosures Drain the Pool



A group of friends skating the pool of a foreclosed home this month in Fresno, Calif. Skaters are coming to places like Fresno from as far as Germany and Australia. More Photos >

By JESSE McKINLEY and MALIA WOLLAN
Published: December 28, 2008
The New York Times


On a recent morning, a 27-year-old skateboarder who goes by the name Josh Peacock peered into a swimming pool in Fresno, Calif., emptied by his own hands — and the foreclosure crisis — and flashed a smile as wide as a half-pipe.

“We have more pools than we know what to do with,” said Mr. Peacock, who lives in Fresno, the Central Valley city where thousands of homes, many with pools behind them, are in foreclosure. “I can’t even keep track of them all anymore.”

Across the nation, the ultimate symbol of suburban success has become one more reminder of the economic meltdown, with builders going under, pools going to seed and skaters finding a surplus of deserted pools in which to perfect their acrobatic aerials.

In these boom times for skaters, Mr. Peacock travels with a gas-powered pump, five-gallon buckets, shovels and a push broom, risking trespassing charges in the pursuit of emptying forlorn pools and turning them into de facto skate parks.

“We can just hit them back to back,” said Mr. Peacock, who preferred to give his skateboarding name because of the illegality of his activities.

Skaters are coming to places like Fresno from as far as Germany and Australia. Mr. Peacock said his floor and couch were covered by sleeping bags of visiting skateboarders each weekend.

Some skateboarders use realty tracking sites like realquest.com and realtor.com to find foreclosed houses with pools, while others trawl through satellite images from Google Earth. On the Web site skateandannoy.com, where skaters trade tips about how to find and drain abandoned pools, one poster wrote about the current economic malaise. “God bless Greenspan,” the post read, “patron saint of pool skatin’.”

Pool builders feel differently, of course. In Phoenix, for example, where scorching summers can make pools seem like a survival tool, the city has issued fewer than half the number of residential pool permits this year as in 2007, as builders are being pummeled by declining home construction and evaporating credit for potential buyers. Several large companies have gone bust this year...


[For Complete Article "Taking a Dip in an Empty Pool" Click Here]

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bridge


I asked some players at my club what phrase best summed up the spirit of Christmas.

Rose chose "Peace on Earth." Unlucky Louie opted for "Good will toward men." And Cy the Cynic stayed true to his character by suggesting "Batteries not included."

Something was missing from Cy's line of play at today's 3NT. Cy won the first spade with dummy's jack and let the jack of clubs ride; he couldn't risk losing a club to East. West produced the queen and led the ace and a low spade.

The Cynic had seven tricks: two spades, two hearts, three clubs. When he led a diamond, West took the ace -- and two more spades. Down one.

Cy would make 3NT if his thought process included counting his tricks. Cy can never succeed if East has the ace of diamonds, hence Cy should start the diamonds at Trick Two. If West takes the ace and returns a diamond, Cy finesses in clubs through East to assure the contract. If instead West sets up his spades, Cy finesses in clubs through West.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S A Q 8 7 2 H 8 5 D A 9 8 C Q 7 4. Your partner opens one heart, you bid one spade, he rebids two hearts and you try 2NT. Partner next bids three clubs. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your partner's auction suggests a minimum hand with six hearts and four clubs. Your 2NT was a little conservative -- but reasonable if your partner often opens light hands. Since all of your honors now look useful, jump to four hearts. Partner may hold 6 5, A K J 7 3 2, 4, K J 9 3."


Bridge Column by Frank Stewart
published Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fridge (IV)







Note: Frozen Pizza is in the refrigerator cause I was about to put it in the pre-heated oven and decided to snap this photo first.

Monday, December 22, 2008

On This Date in History

Today is December 22nd
The 357th day of 2008.
There are 9 days left in the year.


Today's Highlights in History

On Dec. 22, 1864, during the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman sent a message to President Lincoln from Georgia, saying, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah."

On Dec. 22, 1907, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, the British stage actress, was born.


1775 - A Continental naval fleet was organized in the rebellious American colonies.

1894 - French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. He was eventually vindicated.

1912 - Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, was born Claudio Alta Taylor in Karnack, Texas.

1941 - British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington, D.C., for a wartime conference with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1944 - During the Battle of the Bulge, Germany demanded the surrender of American troops at Bastogne, Belgium; Brigadier Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe reportedly replied: "Nuts!"

1984 - New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot four black youths on a Manhattan subway, claiming they were about to rob him.

1989 - Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, the last of Eastern Europe's hard-line Communist rulers, was toppled from power in a popular uprising.

1989 - Playwright Samuel Beckett died in Paris at age 83.

1990 - Lech Walesa took the oath of office as Poland's first popularly elected president.

2000 - Pop singer Madonna married film director Guy Ritchie in Scotland. (The couple announced in October 2008 that they were divorcing.)

2001
- Richard C. Reid, a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, tried to ignite explosives in his shoes, but was subdued by flight attendants and fellow passengers.

2002 - Rock musician Joe Strummer of The Clash died at age 50.

2005 - New York transit workers ended their three-day strike without a new contract.

2005 - Astronomers announced the discovery of two more rings encircling the planet Uranus.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Bell Curve



City Paper's Quality-o-Life-o-Meter

Fifteen hundred firefighters march on City Hall to protest Nutter's budget cuts. "Truth is," says Nutter, "I have the money to save those three ladder companies, but I was just being a dick. And now, because you have walked all this way, I have changed my mind." Even

The family that fosters fat cat Prince Chunk is upset that the Camden County Animal Shelter wants the animal to make 12 public appearances. "Now I know how Dakota Fanning's parents feel," says father, "right down to the box full of shit in the bathroom." Even

Vandals swipe the Baby Jesus from the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Knights of Columbus nativity scene on Independence Hall. The understudy, Fetus Jesus, had only a few moments to rehearse his lines. Minus 5

The Nutter for Mayor campaign donates $225,000 to Pennsylvania Democratic organizations. And $300,000 to the Kingsessing Library. No, just kidding. Suck it, kids. Minus 1

Fans flock to Citizens Bank Park to have their photo taken with the World Series trophy and the Phillie Phanatic, dressed as Phanta Claus. Sadly, dozens were found mauled and carbonated by the dreaded Fanta Claws. Plus 4

Former Eagles owner Norman Braman gets swindled in one of the biggest Ponzi schemes of all time. That's when somebody takes all your money to create a Potsie-Fonzie hybrid. Minus 1

The Rev. James Von Dreele, director of the Seamen's Church Institute, delivers gifts to merchant marines stationed in Philadelphia. In spurts. Plus 2


Total Pluses: 6

Total Minuses: 7

Total for the Week: -1

Last Week's Total: -12


Update: The Closing of 11 Philadelphia Branch Libraries

Library Activists Serve Nutter Notice

by Josh Cornfield / Metro Philadelphia

LOGAN. Activists fighting to keep 11 library branches open across the city gave Mayor Michael Nutter until Tuesday to change his mind. If not, they’re taking him to court.

Attorney Irv Ackelsberg said Thursday that he sent the mayor a draft of what he wants to turn into a class action lawsuit based on a disputed portion of city law that requires City Council approval before any municipal buildings are closed.

“The public library building is like a secular holy place,” Ackelsberg said, surrounded by members of the Black Clergy, the city’s white-collar union and other library supporters. “It is an irreplaceable community anchor offering citizens...a sense of peace, stability and hope.”


More: One Reader's View (Letter to the Editor)

The machine loses a round

Once something is described as a "done deal," it conjures up a feeling in the average citizen that the great machine of political power has started clanking its gears and is about to roll over us, so we had better get back as far away as possible and think about something else.

The machine in Pennsylvania has brought us slot parlors, is rolling over the Barnes Foundation, and has destroyed historic properties to expand the Convention Center. This is all going to be very "good" for "us." We don't have to worry if things don't seem "right," because the machine has an armor of public-relations sound bites and promises to serve the "greater good."

That is why it is such a happy surprise that residents near Burholme Park have won at least this round with the machine. Hooray for Judge Herron for actually supporting the last will of Robert Ryerss and not allowing the park to be used to expand the Fox Chase Cancer Center. It will remain a park at least for as long as it takes the machine to get back up to speed.

Nancy Herman
Merion

published Friday, Dec. 19, 2008
The Philadelphia Inquirer
page A34


Footnote:

Tony Auth Editorial Cartoon published Friday, Dec. 19, 2008
Philadelphia Inquirer

Thursday, December 18, 2008

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Six words to help President-elect Obama inspire America.

"We Can, We Will, We Are!"

Background Info:

About the Project

The National Constitution Center and SMITH Magazine ask you to help President-elect Obama inspire America.

In six words, give him guidance.
Offer ideas for his inaugural address.
Six memorable words for January 20th.

In six words, a President can say a lot: "Malice toward none, charity for all,"(Abraham Lincoln, 1865) "Nothing to fear but fear itself," (Franklin Roosevelt, 1933) "Like a thousand points of light." (George H.W. Bush, 1989)

So give your speech writing a try.

Authors of our judges' six favorite submissions will win a six-word memoir book from SMITH Magazine, a year's membership to the National Constitution Center. One grand prize winner will also win a leather bound volume of the Constitution.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

More Video

Squirrels & Birds

video

video

Success for Bird of Prey

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Updates

Part I

Shield Sought For Libraries

The Preservation Alliance for a Greater Philadelphia is working to save four of the 11 libraries the city has slated for closure at the end of this month because they are all "Carnegie libraries," built at the behest of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in the early 20th century.

The library branches are - Logan, Holmesburg, Haddington and Kingsessing.


More:

The ax falleth … or doth it? Unnamed group may sue Mayor Nutter over library closings by Isaiah Thompson


Footnote:

Hat-tip to Philebrity


Part II

The Nutters - In the midst of the budget crisis, which mayor do you see? by Doron Taussig

The mayor went on TV, two days after the presidential election, to disclose the scope of the city's budget crisis and announce drastic cuts. It was, in a sense, his coming-out party. Since then, Philadelphians have begun to see one of a few different versions of Michael Nutter.


More:

A Question of Cost - We don't know how much is being saved by closing 11 libraries. by Isaiah Thompson

Increasingly, the debate over libraries is centering around the issue of cost. But among the data that has so far been provided by the Free Library and the mayor's office, those costs have remained conspicuously absent.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good Green (Two Editorials)



A JUDGE BECOMES CITY'S BEST PARK ADVOCATE

Burholme Decision Rests On An Earlier, Wise State Law

Given the choice between hundreds of jobs for city residents and a vibrant neighborhood park, even park lovers in or out of city government might hesitate - especially in this economy.

But if yesterday's Orphans' Court decision in the Fox Chase-Burholme Park case stands up on a promised appeal, it's a choice that's not the city's to make.

The decision - a ruling that denies Fox Chase the right to take over a portion of Burholme Park to expand its facilities - is yet another guarantee that parkland won't be sold off by greedy politicians. That was the widely touted fear used against a city charter change, approved Nov. 4, to abolish the Fairmount Park Commission.

And it further undermines the defense of the supposedly apolitical commission as a better protector of parkland than elected officials. The commission supported Fox Chase Cancer Center's request to expand on 19.4 acres of Burholme Park, even though residents of the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood strenuously objected.

In his ruling denying the lease, Judge John W. Herron cited "the public-trust doctrine" enshrined a century ago in Pennsylvania.

Herron wrote in his 61-page opinion, "So long as a community or neighborhood activity uses dedicated park land, the City is required to hold such land in trust for their use."

After nearly five years of controversy and negotiations, it's as simple as that, said the judge.

Apparently beside this central point are the details of the case:

The nationally recognized Fox Chase Cancer Center needs to expand and brings great benefit to the city, and city officials acted responsibly in trying to make the best deal.

Leasing the land would mean breaking the will of Robert W. Ryerss, who bequeathed it to the city in 1905 to be used as parkland "forever."

Attempts to acquire parkland to "swap" for the land in Burholme Park were unsuccessful.

Tenth District Councilman Brian O'Neill maneuvered to have Fox Chase pay millions to the city as part of the agreement, including $ 4.5 million to be used on "capital expenditures" in his district that did not have to be parkland at all.

According to the law, which was cited 100 years ago in a similar decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, if it's dedicated parkland that is still used as a park, it has to stay that way.

We'll leave to others the questions of why neither the city nor the Fairmount Park Commission did not at least raise the question of the "public-trust doctrine" in this long-running issue. We want to focus on the future of Fairmount Park as its governance structure changes.

Herron said the law wouldn't prevent the city from selling or exchanging parkland that no longer was viable. To that end, it's essential that the commission established by the Nov. 4 referendum to advise the new Department of Parks and Recreation establish clear criteria for determining viability and for deciding if and how to pursue divesting land.

Protecting city parkland should be the soul of the city's park policy. The Fox Chase deal, while perhaps well-intentioned, undermined that soul. We're grateful not only for one wise judge, and many active neighbors, but for the commonwealth's foresight 100 years ago that has succeeded in protecting us from ourselves.


Editorial
published Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008
The Philadelphia Daily News


More:

FIXING THE EPA

Among the many things on President-elect Barack Obama's growing to-do list is overhauling the emasculated Environmental Protection Agency.

Under the Bush administration, the EPA became overly politicized, sided with corporate polluters, and often ignored findings and recommendations by its own scientists.

A four-part series in The Inquirer that concludes today details many of the EPA's failings during the Bush years. Although some of the EPA's troubles have been touched on before, the series connects all the dots in one compelling compendium.

Sadly, a similar exercise could be done examining other government agencies that have also been blatantly politicized by the Bush administration, including the Justice Department, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Interior Department.

In the EPA series, Inquirer reporters John Shiffman and John Sullivan show how the agency charged with safeguarding the nation's health and environment systematically eroded its mission over the years.

In the most glaring example, the EPA backed off a finding that said climate change was a risk to public welfare. The findings would have led to the nation's first mandatory global-warming regulations. Instead, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson watered-down the final report, which delayed action to combat global warming.

More broadly, under Bush the EPA's funding was slashed, scientific findings censored, and enforcement de-emphasized.

Bush's first EPA head, former New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman, resigned in 2003 after several public clashes with the administration. She later said Vice President Cheney's efforts to ease air-pollution controls caused her to step down.

Johnson took over in 2005. Like too many other Bush appointees, he has been a yes man, more intent on eliminating regulations to benefit business interests than on protecting the environment. Johnson came to the EPA post with the help of a business lobbyist who was close to Bush's political chief, Karl Rove.

Whitman said Johnson, a scientist who advanced through the ranks of EPA, was handicapped even if he wanted to resist Bush, because he did not have the political clout other administrators brought to the job.

Many of the EPA's key decisions have been thrown out by federal courts. Over and over again, even Republican-appointed judges have found the EPA's legal justifications for its decisions to be a joke. In several instances, the courts cited fairy tales as the only way to justify some of the EPA's decisions.

The legal rebukes show how far the EPA has fallen under Bush. The Inquirer series makes clear that Obama must move immediately to resurrect the agency.


Editorial
published Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Monday, December 8, 2008

Smoke & Mirrors (Politics Past)



Dems think Pres. Elect Barack Obama not assertive enough

"[Barack Obama's] going to have to be more assertive than he's been. At a time of great crisis with mortgage foreclosures and autos, he says we only have one president at a time," House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., told consumer advocates, adding, "I'm afraid that overstates the number of presidents we have. He's [Obama] got to remedy that situation."


Other:

Bush wants to strip Congress of power to halt mining


The Bureau of Land Management, which manages 258 million acres of federal property, stripped from its regulations yesterday a provision that gives two congressional committees the power to compel the Interior secretary to temporarily place public land off limits to mining and to oil and gas development.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat and top candidate for interior secretary under President-elect Barack Obama, attempted to employ the provision for the first time in more than 20 years earlier this year in an effort to halt uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.

The House Natural Resources Committee passed a measure to block the mining, 20-2, but the Interior Department has yet to issue an emergency withdrawal, saying that there were not enough Republicans present for a quorum.

In a written statement yesterday, Grijalva said that the last-minute change was part of a strategy by the Bush administration to avoid complying with the resolution.

Semi-Related:


Rove Vows To 'Name Names'

(CNN) – Enemies of President Bush take heed: Karl Rove is set to name names.

The man widely credited with Bush's two presidential victories says his new book will include an accounting of those in Washington who never accepted the president as a legitimate commander-in-chief.

"I've got behind-the-scenes episodes that are going to show how unreceiving they were of this man as president of the United States," Rove told Cox News in an interview published Sunday. "I'm going to name names and show examples."

Rove signed a deal with publishing giant Simon & Schuster last year, reported be worth over $1.5 million.


More:

The Subversion of the EPA


The Bush administration has weakened the agency charged with safeguarding health and the environment
by John Shiffman and John Sullivan (Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writers)

Part One: An Eroding Mission at EPA

The Bush administration systematically weakened the EPA's mission to protect.

Part Two: EPA's Court Follies Sow Doubt, Delay

Skeptical judges repeatedly voided the EPA's attempts to end-run Congress.

Part Three: Green Club An EPA Charade

Major flaws mar a voluntary program promoted as a solution for global warming, i.e., the EPA touts the perk-filled program, but has recruited some firms with dismal environmental records.

Part Four: Politics Choke Clean-Air Efforts

The EPA-chief sets air-polution rules that appall his own scientific advisors. Scientists say the EPA chief bowed to pressure from the White House, hampering pollution-control efforts.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ralph The Infra-Red Nosed Reindeer

Over the Hedge by Michael Fry and T. Lewis











Saturday, December 6, 2008

Re: Branch Library Closings

Readers Photoshop: At Long Last, The Mighty Face Of… Bizarro Nutter!



Image courtesy Jeffrey Bouchard of Bleached Black.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 at 4:04 pm.

13 Responses to “Readers Photoshop: At Long Last, The Mighty Face Of… Bizarro Nutter!”

1. CityMaps Says:
December 3rd, 2008 at 6:38 pm

Yeah yeah, Nutter planned big cuts all along and he was lying to you when he campaigned about how much he was looking out for the best interest of the city. Let it go…

The “cool kids” in Philly are mad because their beloved Fishtown lost a library, a pool, AND a firetruck while most other places just lost 1 thing. Sucks, eh? Ever think that maybe 1. your hood was over-represented by those things according to planning stats used for cities nationwide or 2. City Hall thinks you’ll be just fine without them, probably by showing some damn initiative and creating community-run programs to cover gaps in learning and recreation?

2. Allan Smithee Says:
December 3rd, 2008 at 6:55 pm

HaHa CityMaps Sux!

This response posted from the Fishtown branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Long Live the Free Library System!

3. Patricio Says:
December 3rd, 2008 at 8:03 pm

It would be nice if all the people angry about the cuts the city is going to have to make actually heard sustainability director Mark Allen Hughes eloquent and sobering opinion on the matter a while back at JB’s.

Just sayin’.

4. julie.t Says:
December 3rd, 2008 at 8:31 pm

amen to that, Patricio. thanks for the sanity check.

5. gtownradioboy Says:
December 3rd, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Looks a little like MF Doom.

6. Grapesoda Says:
December 3rd, 2008 at 11:45 pm

please. fishtown..cool? LoL. what is this like the 5th spot in the city that is classified as “cool” in the past what 8 years since, living in the city was relevant to that.

7. jrpettit Says:
December 4th, 2008 at 12:05 pm

I can’t stop looking at this

8. John Lightstone Says:
December 4th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Wouldn’t Bizarro Nutter be . . . . John Street?

9. jeffreybleachedblack Says:
December 4th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

@ John Lightstone:
Yeah, but then I wouldn’t get to play with Photoshop.

10. Allan Smithee Says:
December 4th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

re: “It would be nice if all the people angry about the cuts the city is going to have to make actually heard sustainability director Mark Allen Hughes eloquent and sobering opinion on the matter a while back at JB’s.”

Hmmm, wonder if he has any influence in the Nutter Administration about what firms the city uses for financial planning and/or investments. I’m sure both ING & Barnes Noble would be up to being the new corp. public library branch for the Rittenhouse Sq. area.

Or is that branch sustainable and not needing synergy?

11. John Lightstone Says:
December 4th, 2008 at 2:24 pm

@jeffreybleachedblack: but you can’t possibly photoshop anything better than this photo. You just can’t.

http://www.philebrity.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/mayorstreet.jpg

12. CityMaps Says:
December 4th, 2008 at 5:12 pm

1. Yes, the photo is quite awesome

2. Fishtown is not “cool” and neither is any city hood more so than another. Mmy point was that it is recently heavy with activists who feel slighted by Nutter after supporting him for election.

3. I’m also saying we shouldn’t think Nutter is duplicitous just because we may not agree with a tough decision that had to be made. Hey library closings make a nasty soundbyte, but compare to the burbs:

Cherry Hill has ONE public library for 71,000 people

Philadelphia AFTER cuts will have 43 for 1,450,000 people

So, either Philadelphia will STILL have more than twice as many libraries per person as some so-called affluent towns who seem to be doing quite well at cranking out productive members of society…OR Cherry Hill has 1/3rd as many as some people would say they need, and I don’t see their kids running wild in the streets from boredom.
Don’t talk size of library branches either, because a book at one can be ordered from another.

Some of the decision to close libraries came from numbers like these, showing that we can do without a few of them.

13. Allan Smithee Says:
December 4th, 2008 at 5:46 pm

re: “I’m also saying we shouldn’t think Nutter is duplicitous just because we may not agree with a tough decision that had to be made.”

Nutter fucked up. He and Council decided things behind closed doors without involving the public in the process or in plain view of the press.


More:

Nutter not heeding Council's cuts advice

Budget plans moving ahead despite lawmaker's protests

Mayor Michael Nutter quickly turned down a request from City Council on Thursday to hold off on closing 11 libraries, standing firm on his decision to close the city's $108 million budget gap.

Nutter's office, however, wasted no time in crushing the hopes of those that seek to put off the closures.

"We have it as abundantly clear to all who were [at a Council briefing] that we have a responsibility and obligation to close a $108 million budgetr gap in the next six months," said Douglas Oliver, Nutter's press secractary. "To dalay is to make the situation significantly worse for [the 2010 fiscal year]."


excerpt from article/reportage by Solomon D. Leach
article published Friday, December 5, 2008
page 02
Metro Newspaper
Weekend Edition, December 5-7, 2008


One Reader's View

Give all a say in library closings

Re: "Delay library closings, Council says," published yesterday:

We recognize that it may not be possible to keep every library branch open. However, we strongly believe the debate should take place in a public forum.

Our resolution creates that public forum. All of the stakeholders will be allowed to weigh in, and the administration will have to finally share data, such as what it costs to operate each library, which could help us formulate alternative cost-saving measures to prevent some or all of the closures.

"Right-sizing" is a catchy phrase but means nothing if there is no debate about what we need to right-size and if City Council does not receive the data that will allow us to offer alternatives if we believe different choices should be made to save money.

Who knows? After getting the facts, we may end up agreeing with some cuts.

A vote for the hearings was a vote for an open, transparent and accountable government. A vote against the resolution was a ratification of, and a vote to continue, the back-room dialogue.

Councilman Bill Green
Philadelphia



published Saturday, December 6, 2008
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Letter to The Editor
page A10

Friday, December 5, 2008

Past Weekend Weather (Day/Night Sounds)

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Most Recent Cookie Fortune

The weather is wonderful.

Daily Numbers: 6 7 2

Lotto Six #'s 17 14 45 30 26 1

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

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Monday, December 1, 2008