WALKING THE BEAT: Slogging Though Philadelphia’s Rutted Streets

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ICY STREETS have made Phila. driving a nightmare for weeks.

ICY STREETS have made Phila. driving a nightmare for weeks.

COVERED-WAGON DAYS: Driving on black ice-covered streets in Philly is like a journey across the prairie in the old Conestoga Wagon. Bouncing, sliding, skidding – in the nation’s 5th-largest city. Snow removal in Philly SMELLS badly – AND JUST as business leaders developed a new slogan to promote commerce and tourism in town…. A TV station showed salt trucks lined up end to end in CENTER CITY. Granted, Center City is our hub and needs cleaning; but what about the 99% neighborhoods? And sidewalks around a park or rec center not cleared of ice or snow. Who tickets the City? Our Mayor’s LEGACY of creating parks does it not include safety.

THE HEADLINE that told of School Superintendent William HITE’S bold plan for Philly education, got me wondering why we needed Bill Green as SRC Chair, with his heralded innovative thinking. Two prima-donnas might not work – a CLASH of TITANS maybe (?)… The accord between Council President Darrell CLARKE and Mayor Nutter over plans for the underground parking lot and fountain-park is evidence of a NEWLY ASSERTIVE and powerful City Council. Let’s have MORE of this!

AND The Real Estate Tax LOOP, The Homestead, and Councilman SQUILLA’s ordinance seem like evidence that selling of AVI was a FAILURE to those under its YOKE. Taxpayers are not sure how much tax to pay, since their Revenue Dept. Bill may not include the deductions. And did you ever try for a speedy refund from the Revenue Dept. for overpayment?? For Revenue to send adjusted bills to you means DOUBLE POSTAGE costs for them…. And what about taxpayers who filed a FIRST-LEVEL REVIEW months ago? Their adjusted taxes cannot take effect until the Office of Property Assessment signs a certificate of authorization, and sends it to the Revenue Dept. Rumors say this is happening, but SLOWLY (?). A real SNOWDEN-GATE would be to obtain the HUSH-HUSH A.V.I. FORMULA and disclose it to the world on the internet.

Looks like Congressman Mike FITZPATRICK got colleague Paul RYAN upset with his plan to stop a slowdown in pension increases to military retirees. TOO BAD. Ryan was a lousy vice presidential candidate. Constituents in Bucks Co. like FITZPATRICK because he cares. My pal Harold FISHER of the Jewish War Vets up there says vets love the guy!… On Feb. 27 at 10:30 a.m., Councilman David OH’S Resolution will declare the “Year of the Veteran”. All vets are invited. Be there in City Council (4th floor, City Hall).

ABSCAM in the 1980s – an FBI scheme that hurt good public officials – got a retrospective in the recent news. Then Councilman Harry JANNOTTI, a leader in redevelopment and veterans’ affairs, and Congressman Ozzie MYERS, a beloved constituent-service official, succumbed. On the video it looked to me like they were FORCED into the scam. I understand the FEDS are no longer allowed to play that game…. The commissioning ceremony of the USS SOMERSET at Penn’s Landing on Mar. 1, looks like standing-room only. Commissioning is a magnificent, time-honored ceremony, and I hear the entire population of Somerset Co. (77k) wanted to attend.

WARD LEADERS have birthdays too. On 2/24 we celebrate those of Bob DELLAVELLA, Esq. (55th), Drug Program Director; Matt MYERS (39B), Estate Expert; and Willie JORDAN (44th), Senate Aide. On the 27th, it is Shawn DILLON’S (66A) and Marge TARTAGLIONE’S (62nd). Many happy returns!!

It was great to see young John RISPO decked out for his Holy Confirmation – on FACEBOOK. If John is a chip off the old man’s block, he is set for greatness! His dad Joe is capable political director of LOCAL 19 Sheet Metal Workers… FINALLY, in this Black History Month, Philadelphia is fortunate to have superior, people-oriented Black legislators. All fought hard and testified successfully against voter ID. Reps. THOMAS and WATERS had the courage to speak out for a “Peoples Traffic Court”. Rep. Vanessa BROWN heads the State Legislative Black Caucus. They are heirs to a CONTINUUM of Black lawmakers of the past, and are a reason we are not Detroit, but a city of candor, caring, competence and commitment!

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