Sunday, June 24, 2007

San Fran Watter Bottle Ban

According to the Associated Press, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order banning City departments from buying bottled water, even for water coolers. The bottle ban goes into effect July 1 and will extend to water coolers by December 1. The move is intended to staunch global warming and save taxpayers' money. In a press release announcing the move, the Mayor expressed concern over the environmental impact of making, transporting and disposing of the bottles. Over a billion of the plastic vessels end up in California's landfills every year. When the ban goes into effect, City and County (San Francisco is both a City and County, just like Philadelphia) offices will dispense municipal tap water.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I Saw a Fox Last Night

At about 11:00 PM last night, the motion-activated light in my back yard went on. I looked out the window and saw a little red fox. Right here in East Falls. Very cool.

Friday Agricultural Factoid

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside. Further, the Commonwealth ranks sixth nationally in strawberry production at $12.8 million.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Energy Independence for Pennsylvania

Governor Edward G. Rendell tonight praised the House of Representatives for overwhelmingly approving two major components of his Energy Independence Strategy. The chamber voted to approve two measures tonight. House Bill 1202, which provides for cleaner fuels and makes Pennsylvania less reliant on foreign oil, passed on a vote of 138-60, while House Bill 1200 was approved by a margin of 129-69. HB 1200 paves the way new economic development opportunities in the rapidly growing clean and renewable energy technology development industry. House Bill 1200 expands the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority to encourage new investments in the state’s growing renewable energy development and deployment fields. The authority will target grants, loans and tax credits to alternative energy manufacturers and energy-efficient companies to promote research in the field and attract new jobs to the state. PEDA is an independent financing authority established to help finance clean energy projects in Pennsylvania. Governor Rendell brought the board back to life in March 2005 after years of inactivity to help create new economic opportunities for Pennsylvania. Since that time, PEDA has awarded $21 million in grants and loans for 57 clean energy projects that are leveraging another $240 million in private investment. The projects will create 975 permanent and construction jobs. House Bill 1202 mandates new standards for clean burning fuels like ethanol and biodiesel, and by increasing demand for these products, will help create new opportunities for the state’s farmers. The bill requires that gasoline be blended with 10 percent ethanol and that diesel fuel eventually include 20 percent biodiesel once in-state production reaches certain levels. The Governor’s Energy Independence Strategy is designed to save consumers $10 billion in energy costs over the next decade, increase Pennsylvania’s alternative and renewable energy production capacity, reduce the state’s dependence on foreign fuels, and create more jobs. For more information on the Energy Independence Strategy, visit

Friday, June 08, 2007

Wall Street West

According to an article in the New York Times, Pennsylvania is looking to offer itself as an alternative to NYC as a backup facility site for New York City’s financial industry. Pennsylvania officials are promoting a nine-county region 100 miles west of Manhattan as the place to put backup facilities for Wall Street. Governor Rendell announced plans to build a $24 million fiber-optic network to carry data from Manhattan to Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA).

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Better City Services: More Thoughts

Rationalization of City Department/Agency Service Districts
There is little to no coterminity between the service districts of various departments/agencies in the City. This means that there is little opportunity for inter-departmental cooperation and the efficiency and effectiveness it promotes. Presently, you cannot call a meeting of all “District One” departmental representatives to a meeting to focus on a particular problem in a specific area of the City. The system isn’t set up that way. However, imagine if the City were separated into 10 or so fairly large agglomerations of similarly situated and/or proximate neighborhoods with coterminous departmental service districts and a deputy managing director overseeing operations. It would produce an accountability system and focus currently lacking with respect to service delivery to neighborhoods.

eXTReMe Tracker