• Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.
      Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.

Mayor Nutter's 2nd term priorities, zoning reform vs. councilmanic fiat, considering Callowhill NID's failure, Mummery and the economy, 2011's best street art



Happy New Year, Philadelphia. Hope you had festive holidays and got to spend some time off. If you’re planning to observe the holiday today by watching the Flyers in the Winter Classic, don’t forget that game time was pushed back to 3pm to take advantage of icier temperatures.

Michael Nutter will be sworn in this morning for his second term as mayor. Metropolis refers to his first term as "custodial." For his second term, Nutter promises continued focus on improving education and making our city’s streets safer, the Inquirer reports.

Inga Saffron wonders if the new zoning code will diminish rezonings by City Council or if councilmanic prerogative will still rule the day? Though it’s hard to believe things will change, she concludes with a lesson from 2011: “We know from the democratic movements sweeping the Middle East and Russia that even the most arrogant of tyrants can't last forever.”

John Chin, executive director of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp, writes in an Inquirer opinion piece that the Callowhill Neighborhood Improvement District failed because of the proposed tax hike and a lack of clarity about the district's focus. Still, an Inquirer editorial wonders if a special services district isn't the area’s best hope for neighborhood improvements thanks to dedicated funding, and whether property owners will get behind the idea eventually.

NewsWorks looks at how the down economy has affected the Mummers, with some brigades cutting losses and corners, and how one choreographer works to keep four fancies and one string band’s moves “butch.”

Streets Dept lists the top 10 street art moments of 2011, the best in wheat pasting and yarn bombing.

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest.

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