Tuesday, September 26, 2006


This is a new project from the Pew Foundation & Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation that offers a series of downloadable audio tours about Philadelphia. The website is: www.soundaboutphilly.com.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Friday Agricultural Factoid: Double Shot

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture:

Potatoes contribute $24 million to the Commonwealth’s economy. In 2005, 11,000 acres of potatoes were harvested. Average yield was 25,000 pounds per acre, totaling 137,500 tons.

Pears contribute $1.3 million to the economy. In 2005, 800 acres of pears were harvested. Pear production ranks us 6th nationally in annual production at 2,100 tons.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Mike Nutter on SEPTA

Michael Nutter Submits Testimony to Pennsylvania Transportation Funding and Reform Commission

Philadelphia – September 15, 2006 - Mayoral candidate Michael A. Nutter submitted testimony today to the Pennsylvania Transportation Funding and Reform Commission in response to the Commission’s request for public comments on its August 2006 report entitled “Investing in Our Future: Addressing Pennsylvania’s Transportation Funding Crisis.”

“Citizens of the Southeastern Pennsylvania region rely heavily on transportation provided by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (“SEPTA”) and that reliance would increase still further if the system was improved,” Nutter commented. “One of the many critiques I heard from my constituents when I served the 4th Councilmanic District was that SEPTA does not serve them well and fails to communicate with them. That recurring problem causes an unnecessary tension between SEPTA and the neighborhoods.”

Nutter provided recommendations to assist in resolving that problem. He called upon the Commonwealth to reconfigure the composition of the SEPTA board to provide Philadelphians with greater representation. Nutter also called upon Philadelphia to solve the problem. He stated, “Philadelphia must do its part. Philadelphia needs a Deputy Mayor for Transportation, who would be the liaison between SEPTA and the citizens of Philadelphia.”

Nutter agreed with the Commission’s assessment that SEPTA remains under-funded and commented, “In order for the funding crisis to be resolved, there has to be a joint partnership between the Commonwealth and the five counties to increase funding.”

Governor Rendell created the Commission in 2005 to examine the funding crisis plaguing Pennsylvania’s highway, bridge and transit systems. The Commission is seeking input before it fashions a final report in November.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Participate in the September 16th “Statewide Action Day” - Help Build Momentum for Democrats Across Pennsylvania!

Governor Rendell is sponsoring a “Statewide Action Day” to build momentum, enthusiasm for November elections tomorrow. Thousands of people from across the Commonwealth will walk door to door to speak directly with their neighbors about the Governor’s record and the importance of getting out to vote on November 7th. This is an opportunity to build momentum on a grassroots level as Election Day quickly approaches. Please visit www.rendellforgovernor.com/actionday for a complete list of locations and for more information about how to get involved. The Governor will be in Bucks County, Bob Casey will be in Delaware County, and lots of local elected officials will be knocking on doors, too. In Philadelphia, things will be getting started at Rendell Campaign HQ at 123 South Broad Street, Suite 1220. Michael Nutter – candidate for Mayor – will be there.

Councilman Kenney Proposes Charter Change

Councilman Kenney is proposing to change the City Charter to eliminate the provision that requires elected officials or City employees to resign their position to run for another public office. Kenney notes that Philadelphia is the only county in the Commonwealth to have place this kind of restriction on its public officials and employees. Kenney says it takes good people, such as former councilman Michael Nutter, who resigned this Summer to run for mayor, prematurely out of public service. Said Kenney, "I think Mike Nutter is a perfect example of a person who worked diligently in here, had good ideas, got a lot of things accomplished, and then wants to take the next step up and has to resign and leave the body."

Monday, September 11, 2006

I Like Mike

Here's a little blurb from this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer. Nutter's actions evidence that he's not a grandstander, just another one of the reasons I like him so much and hope that he's our next Mayor.

"Some people crash parties. Politicians crash news conferences - especially those likely to draw international coverage, and when there's a mayoral race around the corner. At least that's what happened at the opening of the city's School of the Future on Thursday. U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) and State Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Phila.) - both mayoral hopefuls - joined State Rep. Vincent Hughes (D., Phila.), State Rep. James Roebuck Jr. (D., Phila.) and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell on stage at the West Philadelphia school. All were invited, but the Philadelphia School District and Microsoft Corp. - which helped design the school - had not planned for them to be on stage. Extra chairs had to be found. At least one politician didn't crash: Michael Nutter, the former councilman and declared mayoral candidate, whose district the school is in and who helped the district secure the site. He watched and listened from the crowd. 'I knew we weren't supposed to be on stage,' Nutter said. 'It wasn't about us.'"

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Friday Agricultural Factoid

Grapes contribute $19 million to Commonwealth's economy, with Erie County producing the most. In 2005, 12,000 acres of grapes were harvested in Pennsylvania. Grape production ranks us 5th nationally in annual production at 90,000 tons.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tell Mayor Street to Sign the Smoking Ban

From an email from PennEnvironment:

BACKGROUND After more than five years of debate, Philadelphia City Council finally passed the smoke-free workplace legislation this summer. On March 27th, the Philadelphia City Council's Public Health Committee passed Councilwoman Marian Tasco's legislation that would make Philadelphia smoke-free by prohibiting smoking in all workplaces in order to protect the health of our citizens and workers. This legislation passed on June 15, 2006 by a vote of 9-6, with council members Clarke, DiCicco, Goode, Kenney, Miller, Nutter Ramos, Reynolds Brown and Tasco voting in favor of this important public health proposal. Unfortunately, Philadelphia Mayor John Street is now hinting he may refuse to sign this legislation--after publicly stating that passing citywide, smoke-free legislation in the city is one of his top priorities. Councilman Nutter first proposed smoke-free legislation in 2000. At that time, far fewer municipalities had enacted smoke-free laws and the bill met strong opposition. In an attempt to work with members of the hospitality industry, the legislation became muddled with exemptions and eventually was put on the backburner before ever getting a vote in city council. Since then, a lot has changed.

In recent years a groundswell of support for smoke-free laws has developed in states and localities across the country. Nearly one-third of the U.S. population--or more than 90 million people--is now covered by strong smoke-free laws. Cities such as New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Minneapolis have all passed comprehensive smoking bans, as well as our neighboring states of New Jersey and Delaware. As the numbers come back from places that have gone smoke-free, numerous careful scientific and economic analyses have shown that smoke-free laws do not hurt restaurant and bar patronage, employment, sales, or profits. In fact, in most cities the workplace smoking ban is credited with increased sales and creating new jobs as local residents who avoid smoky locales once again began going out to local bars and restaurants. For this reason, it isn't surprising that the Chamber of Commerce even supports this proposal. It is widely recognized that exposure to secondhand smoke causes disease, disability and death. Secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals and at least 69 carcinogens, including formaldehyde, cyanide, and arsenic. In addition to heart disease, secondhand smoke is proven to cause lung cancer and many serious respiratory illnesses. Here in Philadelphia, a broad alliance of public health groups, businesses, environmental groups and concerned citizens has come together in support of a smoke-free Philadelphia. For more information, check out the website, www.breathefreephiladlephia.org. Yet until June 15, 2006, Philadelphia's City Council had refused to take action on this important public health proposal.

Now, Mayor Street is threatening to bring us back to square one and start all over by refusing to sign the smoke-free workplace legislation. So take a minute to ask Mayor Street to sign the smoke-free workplace legislation. Then, forward this to your friends and family in Philadelphia and ask them to do the same. To email the mayor, click on the link below or paste it into your web browser: http://www.pennenvironment.org/PE.asp?id=1771&id4=ES

Meet Mike Nutter - September 20th

If you have not had the opportunity to meet Michael yet, here is your chance. Young Professionals for Nutter are having their next meet and greet on September 20, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. at Abbraccio located at 820 S. 47th Street.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Pennsylvania is Green

Governor Rendell announced this week that the state government will double the amount of electricity purchased from renewable sources. The enhanced purchase makes Pennsylvania the largest state purchaser of green electricity and ranks Pennsylvania number 12 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Top 25 Green Power Partners list.

Friday Agricultural Factoid: There's a Fungus Among Us

I’m proud to report that, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, our state ranks first nationally in mushroom production, producing more than 495 million pounds annually. The mushroom industry contributes an excess of $391 million to the Commonwealth’s economy every year.

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