DAILY GRINDER: Happy New Year! Here’s What To Look Forward To in 2011

rendell627Governor Ed Rendell approved $100 million for more than 40 infrastructure and other projects in Philadelphia as a parting gift to the city whose football team he loves so. All the money’s being taken from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and recipients “must submit [final paperwork] by January 14, 2011,” a mere four days before Governor-Elect Corbett is sworn in. You can read all about where the money’s going by checking out the link at the end of this paragraph, but here are some of the most noteworthy: $6 million to turn North Philly’s Blue Horizon into an $18 million hotel-and-restaurant complex with a jazz bar; $6 million for the William Way LGBT Senior Housing Center; $9.5 million for Drexel’s business school. [Inky]

And Corbett promises – promises! – he’ll “review” all the last minute spending going on, which includes at least another $300 million across the Keystone state. Rendell’s lackey attorneys say most of the information won’t be available until January 27. Ha! [Tribune Review]

Those projects will be paid for ‘til kingdom come (a conservative estimate), but Mayor Michael Nutter claims taxes won’t be going up this year. [Inky]

But here’s what will be going up: Your electric bills! (Maybe.) PECO’s monopolistic hateful control over the region is up and you, the Philadelphia resident, may now have the chance to find your own power source. That’s a positive, but many claim the regulations actually kept prices down. (It’s yet to be seen.) Five of the seventeen companies offering energy in the Philadelphia market are renewable sources, so that’s a win for you folks who think one person can somehow make a difference and reverse the whole “world going to shit” thing. Good for you. [PA Power Switch]

On that note, there are still people who think they can stop the massive, massive construction project that’ll culminate in the Barnes Museum on the Parkway. [Inky]

Reality: Pat Toomey is your Senator, people! His Southeast Pennsylvania regional manager is James Fitzpatrick, who’s got quite a resume, sure, but he’s also got Palin coodies, having served as the Philadelphia field director of the McCain-Palin campaign all those years ago. [Dan Cirucci]

This “112th Congress” you’ve been hearing so much about is basically going to be defined by the number of investigations into extremely relevant issues, such as the death panels in the health bill, President Obama’s birthplace and this thing they’re calling “spending.” Lots of it’s going to be done by a guy named Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California who’s sorta crazy, sorta just regular. But one thing Issa claims he’s not going to investigate: The attempted bribe to pull Crispin Glover Joe Sestak from that Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary thing that once happened. Win? [The Hill]

On the food-front, you may have lost the Swift Half in 2010, Philly, but sources close to Le Bec Fin (the owner) say after announcing it’d be closing in the New Year, “An outpouring of letters from all over the world” led him to change his mind. French food! [Philly.com’s The Insider]

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