Is the local cigarette tax to fund Philadelphia schools in jeopardy again? Angela Couloumbis and Troy Graham report that House Republicans in Harrisburg are having trouble whipping Republican votes for the state enabling legislation in a special session scheduled for next week. For now, their caucus spokesman says it's still on the calendar.
State Senator Larry Farnese and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson each joined Senator Anthony WIlliams yesterday in publicly supporting the pop-up beer gardens' regulatory status. Councilman Johnson's office released a letter to Rep. John Taylor indicating his support for the current LCB interpretation of the regulations governing off-premise catering permits, while Senator Farnese's email to constituents held out the possibility of legislating a "balanced" solution. "If it becomes necessary that legislation is needed to correct any discrepancies in the original Act, I will work to ensure that the solution is balanced."
Don't miss Kellie Patrick Gates and Jared Brey's coverage of City Council's new Community Sustainability Initiative (CSI). There are some interesting questions remaining about how open the data will be, and how this will impact politics. Council is essentially providing the metrics they think Council members should be judged by. The same indicators they want to use to judge the sustainability of neighborhoods can also be used to evaluate what happened in Council districts over a four-year term.
Throwback Thursday: supplement Geoff Kees Thompson's piece on ways to minimize the negative impact of methadone clinics on neighborhoods with Jared's piece from earlier this year on recent City Council efforts on this issue.
The Wall Street Journal looks at how some transit agencies are getting creative, and tapping the higher land values around transit stations to fund their operations with walkable mixed-use development. The land under all those Park 'n' Rides turns out to be quite valuable: "According to a study released by industry group American Public Transportation Association in 2013, property values within walking distance of public transit stations were 41.6% higher than other properties in the same region." Here's Econsult's study of the land value-add from SEPTA regional rail.
And Conrad Benner finds a new Kid Hazo piece at Paine's Park.