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July 2013

Philadelphia City Council's Marian Tasco on Philadelphia Neighborhoods


Philadelphia City Council District 9’s Marian B. Tasco is leading the effort to revitalize Philadelphia neighborhoods since she took office in 1988.  Watch her describe the challenges she faces and the successes she sees in this exclusive Triad Strategies Video interview. 

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Philly Council Probes City's Role in Building Demolitions


Today, Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Heenon said that the city “needs a framework for swift enforcement of unlicensed contractors.”.  Heenan’s words represented one of the many takeaways from today’s select committee hearing on the tragic building collapse on Market Street last month.

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Team Surra #3 Takes Another Checkered


Last night, the Triad Strategies LLC #3 racing machine made its way to Hummingbird Speedway. The action was good at the "Bird" last night, with a very racey track adding to the excitement!

In the heat race, the #3 started on the outside pole and when the green flag flew, the Surra Race Team took the lead and never looked back, grabbing the checkered flag!

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Friday Happy Hour: Partisan Blues Edition

Tatamy Bridge
According to the Old Farmers’ Almanac, the “Dog Days of Summer” have arrived – an American adaptation of Roman lore linking the languid heat of July and August to the precession (whatever that means) of the Sirius, the Dog Star, in the night sky.  According to the Romans, the Dog Days are an evil time  when "the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies."

Sounds like an apt description of Harrisburg of late, nicht wahr?

OK, so there was no resolution regarding transportation funding, pension reform, liquor privatization or Medicaid expansion, but at least we got another on-time budget, right? Well, not really. The PA House returns to Harrisburg on Monday to clean up a little mess it made by hiding an item in the usually routine Fiscal Code legislation that accompanies the budget. Seems that some kids in the House inserted language greasing the skids for payday loans, but were busted, grounded and sent to bed without dessert by the adults in the Senate. Until the Fiscal Code is enacted, the appropriations detailed in the budget cannot be made.

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Triad Happy Hour – Independence Day Edition

Independence HallIn the old days, Harrisburg’s political class had something they called The Tuesday Club that Meets on Wednesdays.  And on Wednesdays, they met mainly to play poker in the late lamented Penn Harris Hotel that stood across the park from the Capitol.  In that tradition, today we present the Friday Client Letter that’s Sent on Wednesday.  That way, we can all hustle down to Gettysburg at 11 a.m. to watch the live mortar fire demonstration during the 150th anniversary remembrance of the most momentous battle of the American Civil War.

Warfare analogies spring to mind, too, as we look across the battlefield we call the Pennsylvania General Assembly at budget time.  Like Confederate Gen. George Pickett, Gov. Tom Corbett charged up the Capitol Hill seeking the triple prize of transportation funding, liquor privatization and pension reform. Like Pickett, he fell short.  But Corbett was quick to position the situation as a lost battle but not a lost war.   And he came out swinging with his first television commercial to promote his reelection campaign.

One thing pretty much lost in all the excitement this week over what did NOT happen was any focus on what DID happen – the passage of an on-time $28.4 billion General Fund budget that had lots of goodies for some and a few lumps of coal for others.           

The Philadelphia School District was a prime example of how a state budget typically works out for a supplicant.  Philadelphia schools got a lot of what they asked for – mostly in the form of the authority to extract additional funding from Philadelphians.   But they didn’t get enough to fill the entire funding gap.  For instance, smokers were able to breathe (to the extent that their congested lungs allowed it) a sigh of relief that the General Assembly did not provide the city with the power to apply a $2 per pack excise tax on cigarettes sold in Philadelphia.

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Tomorrow is Another Day

Gone with the windWhat a weekend, pilgrims!  So much was going on that it warrants a special client letter as we drift into a short work week abbreviated by the Independence Day holiday falling on a Thursday.  Let’s take a quick look at the news so those of you on holiday on Friday, July 5, won’t miss anything when the time for our usual Happy Hour report rolls around.

The Chicago Blackhawks took out a full page ad in the Boston Globe to thank the people of the baked bean city for their hospitality during the recent Stanley Cub Playoffs – which the Blackhawks, of course, won. 

Meanwhile, the Globe reported that Boston Bruins principal Charlie Jacobs has given a “pass for life” for all Bruins games to a 77-year-old woman who could no longer afford Bruins’ tickets after a 40-year record of attending every Bruins home game.

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