Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The New York Times Loves Philadelphia

Another positive article in the New York Times about Philadelphia.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Pennsylvania Gets Greener

According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Commonwealth’s Department of Community and Economic Development (“DCED”) has granted $2.0 million to Philadelphia University's Engineering and Design Institute and the Pittsburgh-based Green Building Alliance to establish the Pennsylvania Green Growth Partnership.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Horizons Wins Award

Horizons has won the “Restaurant of the Year Award” from VegNews Magazine. The husband/wife team of Rich Landau (executive chef) and Kate Jacoby (pastry chef) moved Horizons from the suburbs into Philadelphia in 2006 and became our City’s first upscale vegan restaurant. The two-story restaurant (downstairs lounge; upstairs dining) serves “nouveau vegan cuisine along with organic spirits”. Craig LeBan - Philadelphia’s premier food critic – gave Horizons an “excellent” rating. Horizons is located at 611 South 7th Street. I've been there; it's delicious.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friday Agricultural Factoid

This season, 380,000 acres of corn were harvested, producing more than 6.8 million tons of "silage". Corn silage, which is fed to livestock, contributes nearly $185 million to the Commonwealth’s economy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Friday Agricultural Factoid

Chrysanthemums contribute more than $2.2 million to the Commonwealth's economy. There are more than 60 “mum” producers throughout the Pennsylvania. Overall, we rank seventh nationally in wholesale floriculture crops.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Philly Architectural Salvage Update

From my friends at Architectural Salvage News:

American Soil has opened an architectural salvage store in Philadelphia called Provenance at 1610 Fairmount Ave., (215) 236-6677. On American Soil's website, click on "architectural salvage." Presently, they're selling treasures from Philadelphia's landmark Divine Lorraine Hotel.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Philadelphia International Airport is in the Potatoes

According to the Daily News, Philadelphia International Aiport was awarded more than $38 million in grants for various projects during the fiscal year that ended on September 30. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, it set a record for the amount of money the agency has ever given an airport during one fiscal year.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mike Nutter Letter to Paul Vallas

Mr. Paul Vallas
Chief Executive Officer
School District of Philadelphia
440 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Dear Mr. Vallas:

I am writing to state my opposition to the numerous proposed budget cuts that have been detailed in the recent news accounts regarding the Philadelphia School District.

Some of these proposed cuts – art and music, athletics and sports, teen parenting centers, truancy officers, librarians, nurses and counselors - would have a devastating impact on our schools and many of your own education reform efforts.

It is unclear to me and many member of the public, especially parents and students, how the District’s finances have deteriorated over the past two years without more information being shared with the public, and more importantly, without a long term plan to fix the structural financial challenges that our District continues to face.

In response to this current funding crisis, I am asking that the District develop a comprehensive plan involving the wealth of partners who depend upon stable and improving public education system for the progress of this city and region. The Philadelphia School District must reach out in a cooperative manner to the City of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the foundation community, the many area colleges and universities, the education advocacy community and of course citizens, parents and students to develop a plan of action that will fully inform all of the stakeholders about the direction of public education and the quality of our educational services. The School District’s current schedule will not allow sufficient review and opportunity for public input.

I am proposing that you and the School Reform Commission take the following steps:

* Provide a full, detailed disclosure of how the current budget crisis developed and a complete accounting of the past two years’ actions taken to prevent any negative educational impact on students because of funding deficiencies.

* Request a review of the Philadelphia School District finances by the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority which would serve as an independent financial oversight entity.

* Provide a public explanation of the overall impact of the educational and service impacts of any budget-cut plan that is submitted to the School Reform Commission, including the impact on planning as required by the No Child Left Behind laws.

* Provide a school-by-school analysis of any proposed educational and service impacts of any budget-cut plan that is submitted to the School Reform Commission.

* Engage in a week of public hearings in City Council Chambers in order for the public, parents and students to fully understand what the District’s proposed cuts are and how those cuts will impact the educational experience of our students prior to any budget action by the Philadelphia School District and the School Reform Commission. The District can utilize the procedure outlined in the Home Rule School District Charter section 12-209(b) for public meetings of the School Reform Commission, the City Council and the Mayor.

I am strongly encouraging that you take time to extend the public input schedule, because the currently announced schedule provides virtually no real time for input by anyone.

I believe that these steps would result in a more comprehensive and thoughtful budget and would also help to restore public confidence in the School District. Thank you for your consideration, and I would appreciate your timely response.


Michael A. Nutter
Candidate for Mayor of Philadelphia

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