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October 6th | Posted In News

Last Week in Philly: 9/30- 10/05 Edition

By YIP Advocacy Committee

schuylkillbankswalk

Welcome to YIP’s Last Week in Philly – a weekly recap of all the vital news stories you might have missed while riding the emotional roller coaster that was the Eagles game this week. Check back every Monday for our recap of last week’s most important stories.

 

Education

Late breaking: the SRC cancels the teachers’ union contract. We can expect a lawsuit over this move, which felt very sneaky to many, given that the only notice of the meeting to do this move was a small, legally mandated notice in Sunday’s Inquirer

Charter schools: Less-than-stellar oversight of charter schools may have cost Pennsylvania’s schools $30 million.

Positive news!  A city magnet school has been named one of the nation’s best schools.

The cigarette tax means more charter schools, thanks to a compromise forced by House Republicans.

 

 

Politics

Gubernatorial hopefuls traded barbs in a morning-commute debate.

Council members are seeking to close a loophole in the hate crimes law in light of the recent attacks on LGBT individuals.

Marijuana: still a federal crime, but the same as a traffic ticket as far as Philly is concerned after Mayor Nutter signed the decriminalization bill.

Councilmanic Prerogative – preventing positive change in Philadelphia since… forever.  The latest example is preventing new residences from being built in West Philly despite neighborhood input and approval.

 

 

Infrastructure

Any updates on SEPTA’s smart card system?  Nope.  But we might be in for a total shutdown strike in February.

The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk has opened to mixed reviews. Basically: it’s really cool, but some people wish it looked prettier.

The Market East area is seeing more indicators of change with the construction of Times Square-style electronic billboards and groundbreaking on a project called…Eastern Market.

Curbed Philly caught the news that DRPA is once again looking into reopening Franklin Square station in a story about Ben Franklin bridge repairs

L&I continues to be a political pinata, as the Mayor moves them from “commerce” to “public safety.” Reforming L&I has been a hot-button issue in the wake of building collapses and abandoned property fires that have claimed lives.

 

 

Economy

The FCC is pressing the pause button on its approval process of Comcast’s takeover of Time Warner, citing a desire to allow critics of the move more time to comment publicly.

Major pharma player Teva set for significant layoffs.

A kinder, gentler PGW takeover?

 

 

Millennials

Renters unite! Council is considering bill that would give tenants the right to advanced notice of rent increases.

Speaking of rent increases, a new Pew study shows affordable rents are slipping away.

Last Week in Philly is brought to you by the YIP Advocacy Committee, generally, and Curtis Blessing, Nathanael Brouhard, Frank Iannuzzi, Jim Saksa and Stephen St. Vincent, specifically. If you want to break up this boys club (please do) or make it that much more dude-tastc, email Ben Stango to join the Advocacy Committee at BenStango at gmail.

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