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  • PhiladelphiaDaily Record

    Vol. II No. 58 (218) Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia May 6, 2011

    PUCCINIS CELEBRATED OPERA Tosca fills stage at Academy of Music. Seereview page 6.

    Sing It!


    Rendell, Judges Clown It Up

    Volunteer Judges and Attorneys dressed in costume and presented mock trials based on fairy tales to Philadelphia

    grade-school students this morning and heard a presentation by former Gov. Ed Rendell.

    The event was held in City Halls Courtroom 653 and was staged in honor of Law Week.

    Toomey Backs Pipeline

    Safety Bill

    US Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) supported advancing the

    Pipeline Transportation Safety Improvement Act

    (S.275) out of the Commerce, Science & Transporta-

    tion Committee to the full Senate yesterday.

    In the wake of pipeline accidents across the country like

    the tragic explosions in Allentown and Philadelphia ear-

    lier this year, the Pipeline Transportation Safety Im-

    provement Act will help ensure the safety of our

    pipelines and our citizens. The legislation increases fines

    for violating safety regulations, requires new pipes to

    have shutoff valves that can be controlled remotely and

    increases public availability of pipeline information.

    As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, I

    was pleased to support this bill for consideration before

    the full Senate, Toomey said. The bipartisan measure

    takes important steps toward improving pipeline safety

    and preventing future tragedies like those that unfortu-

    nately took place in Philadelphia and Allentown. I will

    continue working with members of the Commerce Com-

    mittee and Senate Leadership to address any remaining

    issues before the Senate votes on final passage.

    Small-Biz Group Slashes At Philly Bar Over Tort Reform

    Kevin Shivers, State Director of the

    National Federation of Independent

    Business, which represents nearly

    15,000 small businesses in Pennsyl-

    vania, issued a statement yesterday

    in response to a resolution approved

    by the Philadelphia Bar Association

    urging lawmakers to defeat the Fair

    Share Act:

    It was as predictable as the sunrise

    that the Philadelphia Bar Associa-

    tion, whose members have achieved

    for their city the grotesque title of

    Americas Worst Judicial Hell-

    hole, would ask the Legislature to

    enshrine it by defeating the Fair

    Share Act, Shivers said.

    The Bar Association makes the

    comically insincere argument that

    lawsuit abuse is a service to justice.

    It argues that civil defendants who

    are not directly negligent, but who

    are theoretically negligent accord-

    ing to the elastic vocabulary of at-

    torneys, should have to pay all of

    the damages anyway because the

    real guilty party has no money.

    If any one of them were charged for

    the cost of something that their secre-

    tary shoplifted, they would proclaim

    the arrival of totalitarianism in Ameri-

    can. Yet, thats the sort of justice under

    which they want the rest of us to live.

    Some of the lawyers who sup-

    ported that resolution are defense

    attorneys. Many of them are paid by

    small businesses. The overwhelm-

    ing majority of small business own-

    ers believe that the Fair Share Act is

    in their interest. So whose interest

    are the lawyers representing?

    The fact is defense attorneys get

    paid when their clients get sued.

    Personal-injury lawyers get paid

    when their clients win. So when it

    comes to protecting their cash cow

    Pennsylvanias upside-down legal

    system all of the lawyers are sit-

    ting on the same side of the table.

    As a political interest group, they

    have been extraordinarily success-

    ful at defending the indefensible.

    But the tide is turning against them,

    and we are confident the new Legis-

    lature will approve the Fair Share

    Act and restore common sense to a

    legal system that has turned Penn-

    sylvania into a game preserve for

    trophy-hunting lawyers.


    Casey Announces $15 Million ForPhilly Schools To Boost Safety

    US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) announced yesterday the

    US Dept. of Labor has awarded $15,033,797 to seven

    schools in Philadelphia to reduce violence and improve

    educational outcomes.

    Ensuring our children receive a quality education in a

    safe environment is vital to the future strength of our

    communities and our nation, said the Senator Casey.

    The federal grants will be used to reduce violence and

    support educational opportunities within these schools

    through strategies such as anti-bullying education, peer

    mentoring and crisis management. Expected outcomes

    for the initiative include decreased dropout rates, a re-

    duction in school violence and improved student be-

    havior and academic performance.

    Funds have been awarded to the following schools in

    the School District of Philadelphia:

    Germantown High School $2,312,892

    John Bartram High School $2,312,892

    Overbrook High School $2,312,892

    Thomas FitzSimons High School $2,312,892

    University City High School $2,312,892

    West Philadelphia High School $2,312,892

    Abraham Lincoln High School $1,156,445

    Mayor To Create Poet LaureateProgram

    Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced he has directed

    the Office of Arts, Culture & the Creative Economy to

    create an official Poet Laureate program for the City of

    Philadelphia. He first announced this effort on Tuesday

    during Sonia Sanchez Live at City Hall, an event to

    highlight poetry in Philadelphia that was presented in

    partnership with Art Sanctuary. The planning commit-

    tee for the Poet Laureate program will be chaired by

    Chief Cultural Officer Gary Steuer of the Mayors Of-

    fice of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.

    I am extremely excited and proud to announce that the

    City of Philadelphia will create an official Poet Laure-

    ate program. Poetry is an extraordinary and powerful

    art form, and our great city is filled with an astonishing

    array of poets who help us to understand better our

    community, said the Mayor. Sonia Sanchez exempli-

    fies the role a poet can play in helping to define a city

    and helping its citizens discover beauty. I look forward

    to receiving the recommendations of the planning com-

    mittee and establishing, for the first time, a Poet Lau-

    reate for the City of Philadelphia.

    The other members of the planning committee are

    Lorene Cary, author and executive director of Art Sanc-

    tuary; Siobhan Reardon, President and Director of the

    Free Library of Philadelphia; Al Filreis, Kelly Writers

    House at the University of Pennsylvania; Beth Feldman

    Brandt, poet and executive director of the Stockton

    Rush Bartol Foundation; and Greg Corbin, founder and

    executive director, Philadelphia Youth Poetry Move-


    Promoting the arts in Philadelphia includes creating

    new institutions and programs that will showcase and

    offer insight into our city, said Chief Cultural Officer

    Gary Steuer. The work of renowned former national

    Poet Laureates including Elizabeth Bishop, Robert

    Frost, Richard Wilbur and currently W.S. Merwin offer

    a unique perspective on America. I hope this initiative

    will provide the same opportunity for Philadelphias

    artists to explore what it means to be a Philadelphian.


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    Translation/InterpretationArabic, Hebrew, English, French

    For more information, call William Hanna


    T h e P h i l a d e l p h i a P u b l i c R e c o r d C a l e n d a r

    May 6-

    State Sen. Shirley Kitchen hosts

    Senior Healthy Living Expo at Co-

    lumbia N. YMCA, 1400 N. Broad

    St., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Free event.

    Breakfast and lunch will be

    served. For info (215) 227-6161.

    May 6-

    State Rep. Michael McGeehan

    hosts tour of Samuel Baxter Water

    Treatment Plant celebrating Na-

    tional Drinking Water Week at

    9001 State Rd., 10 a.m. To join

    tour call Nancy Hartey (215) 333-

    9760. Need photo ID.

    May 6-

    22nd Ward Democrat Committee

    Spring Fundraiser at Gathering

    Place, 6755 Germantown Ave., 6-8

    p.m. Candidates $100, community

    $50. Meet 8th Dist. City Council,

    at-Large City Council and judicial

    candidates. For info Ward Leader

    Ron Couser (215) 817-6159.

    May 6-

    AOH 40 names John McNesby

    Labor Leader of Year at Ironwork-

    ers Ha., 11600 Norcom Rd., 7-11

    p.m. Open bar, dinner, music.

    Tickets $50. For info Brian Cole-

    man (215) 779-1330.

    May 6-

    Cocktail fundraiser for 8th Dist.

    Council candidate Verna Tyner at

    Maias Fine Dining & Jazz, 5920

    Greene St., 7-11 p.m. $5