DAILY GRINDER: SEPTA Violated Federal Lobbying Regulations?
Good job: Federal officials say SEPTA has “repeatedly” violated lobbying regulations with regard to its paying Washington lobbyists over the past five years and could face fines of up to $100,000—“for each instance.”
Smell that? A four-alarm fire killed a vacant warehouse at Front and Girard early this morning. The El is down and one firefighter was injured, though his life is not in danger.
Not helping: A Pennsylvania webpage showing old voting information was still up yesterday.
Hearings over the city’s homeless feeding ban began yesterday. There, city officials insisted the law did not actually target religious programs in the city (who are the plaintiffs), but that the ban was the only way to “maintain the parks for all residents.” A city official, Deputy Mayor Michael DiBerardinis, also testified that feeding the homeless in one Center City area often makes for more personnel and money to maintain just one portion of Fairmount Park.
Advocates of feeding the homeless testified, too. In one instance, Rev. Brian Jenkins told the court God had called on him to feed the homeless at 16th and the Parkway—but God had not called on him to feed the homeless along the City Hall apron.
Today, Mayor Michael Nutter will appear in court to give his side.
A lawyer at Community Legal Services argued at the the first of five public hearings over Philadelphia’s water rates that a 28.5 percent increase in prices over the next four years—which is the plan—“is just not reasonable in today’s economy.”
Just stop: There is a pro-gas drilling documentary (funded by the natural gas industry) coming out that’s meant to be an answer to “Gasland.” What’s it called? “Truthland,” of course! It documents a Pennsylvania “farmer and teacher” traveling and debunking Josh Fox’s original fracking documentary by re-creating the scenes, and it runs a whopping 35 minutes. As the Patriot News puts it, “[The premise] might be true, but it’s utterly unbelievable as presented in the film.”
Lastly, Philadelphia Weekly’s Tara Murtha will be on Radio Times this morning at 10 a.m. Tune in!