The recent breaking news of Ed Coryell Sr., the pariah of the building trades being re-organized out of the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters seems odd.

A carpenters union meeting touting benefits changes and a reorganized MRC [Public Record]
A carpenters union meeting touting benefits and a reorganized MRC [Public Record]

It was only in 2014 that at a planned meeting at the Carpenter’s hall on Spring Garden Street that it seemed Coryell was more secure than ever in his expanded position in the newly reorganized Metropolitan Council.  The paper of sycophants, The Public Record, has this glowing revue of Coryell that now no longer squares with the power play made today.

It seems that most of the Philly-area locals have been completely gutted from the MRC and transferred to the Northeast Council based out of Edison, New Jersey according to this notice posted at the union hall:


Another questionmark floating around is what will become of the MRC’s offices on Spring Garden Street.   Coryell headed a Council that had union locals spread as far south as Virginia.  With the Philly locals now gone, some office shuffling will likely be happening along with the consolidations.

So far in the union rumor mill I’m plugged into, no one knows yet what is going on with Ed Coryell’s son, Coryell Jr. if he will assume a leadership position or not.

What could be the reason for this?

One of them is how the Carpenters Union has been a perennial embarrassment to Philadelphia’s image over the years.   From annoyances like the crying baby tape to full blown chicanery like sabotaging vehicles at the Philadelphia Auto Show, to telegraphing an unwritten promise that protests won’t mar the DNC2016 convention in Philadelphia, unless their demands are met.

Another major reason is that Johnny Doc, business manager of IBEW Local 98, the powerful electricians union and now-head of the Philadelphia Building Trades Council, a rainbow-coalition of area trade unions, has had enough of the Coryell family.

He famously brokered a deal between the Philadelphia Convention Center management which got IBEW and all but two trades to cross picket lines and sign a new labor contract to work at the center.   The Carpenters decided not to sign the new labor deal at a management-imposed deadline and were shut out.  The carpenters have been protesting ever since.   Since the new labor agreement kicked in, business at the convention center has returned to normal.

It seems to this fair observer that the consolidation of the Philly carpenters is meant to reign in the Carpenter’s leadership since the various locals have been either unable or unwilling to come to terms with the shutout on their own.

Having the MRC create international embarrassments while the DNC is being hosted in Philly could prove costly.   It’s not a risk that Congressman Bob Brady, the head of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee, nor Johnny Doc–the most spendiest of local political campaign contributors, can afford to tolerate anymore.

With the Carpenters reorganized and their mother-ship moved to New Jersey, I expect a quiet and uneventful DNC2016.


Philly Rap Sheet was a pretty cool site, especially when the police aren’t being very communicative and the crime happened right by my house.

But over the last couple of years that site has been dead.   It left me sad.

So, I am building a new one.

Here is the prototype so far.   The data updates in real-time (every hour), as the District Attorney’s charging unit enters new criminal cases into the system, I pick them up and they appear on the data panel.


There more data panels, charts and graphs coming.

What’s different about this version, called CourtWatch, is that its a bit friendlier to returning citizens.

Besides blocking Google, Bing and Yahoo! from being able to suck up all the records on CourtWatch, it’s possible for those who have an arrest they would prefer not to have seen on the website to have it suppressed so it won’t show up in searches.

Those who have criminal records can request either a temporary suppression of their arrest record(s) for up to 120 days; so you can forget about using CourtWatch as a free run-around to a background check tool.   However, people who are freshly-arrested must wait 45 days after their arrest date before making a request to suppress the record.

Those who have secured a purge of their arrest record can also use the same form to purge themselves from CourtWatch.   The website will check the courts to see if the criminal record is still available to be downloaded, and if it isn’t, your record is poofed like it never happened.