Woody’s, one of Philadelphia’s most traveled and arguably longest surviving gay bar might have hit a new snag.
Earlier this summer the new extension of Woody’s, Rosewood, was shuttered after L&I had discovered that plumbing and electrical work had been handled through Griffin Campbell Construction and Plato Marinakos, Jr., the shady characters who had their blood-soaked hands on the 22nd and Market Salvation Army building collapse. After correcting Campbells’ work and a new round of L&I inspections Rosewood has since reopened.
But now a new problem has surfaced: According to L&I’s website Woody’s no longer has an active Special Assembly Occupancy License. The license which is required for bars and restaurants that offer live music, DJs and/or dancing for more than 50 people expired September 1st of this year.
Hopefully the owners of Woody’s have noticed this little slip-up and can get their SAOL license renewed before the dreaded candy stripe comes back, this time on Woody’s front entrance.
Hey, remember that raid on the Sheriff’s Department’s real estate unit a month ago? You know, the one where the Sheriff’s office pointed all the blame on previous Sheriff John D. Green and said the FBI investigation had nothing to do the current office run by Sheriff Jewel Williams, although some reporters in this down doubt that?
Well, let me just tell you up front: these are rumors, but they’re pretty good ones. An anonymous source familiar with some of the items of interest the FBI has been looking at pointed out that the reason of the raid of the Sheriff’s real estate office has more to do with how the Sheriff’s office operates when it conducts auctions, settles bids and pays creditors than it does on the previous indictment of former Sheriff’s employees or no-bid contracting. Current Sheriff Williams denies all these shady practices ended after Green’s departure.
US Dept of Justice Intervenes in City Lawsuit Against Sheriff Green
Back in April the City filed a civil frauds suit against Sheriff Green [lawsuit here], several employees and five different companies–all no-bid contractors that the Sheriff’s Department was using to run its computer systems.
And then just a couple of weeks ago something interesting happened: the US attorney decided to butt-in to the case. At the beginning of this month the US Attorney’s office filed a petition to intervene in the case and then filed its motion under seal with the court, so nobody except the court and the folks involved in the suit know what it’s about.
Why would the US Attorney jump in here?
Perhaps it might be that if the City is going to extract any blood out of the no-bid contracting companies the Sheriff had hired, they want dibs. That’s assuming a judge or jury awards restitution for all the millions of dollars of misappropriated money at the Sheriff’s department.
Further, and this is where we go into super-deep rumor territory: the FBI might be looking into a practice that has been happening at Sheriff’s auctions where a group of bidders were being permitted to put down bullshit deposits using attorney checks that had no assets behind them.
This allowed some of the biggest buyers at Sheriff’s sales to basically purchase property with no money down and they could string out their transactions as long as they needed. In effect: a special set of unfair rules for the Sheriff’s favorite bidders, and then another set of rules for the general public.
Hopefully the US DOJ does the “big reveal” sometime within the next few months. The suspense is killing me.
Over on PhillySpeaks a user on the site walked past a building trades flyering operation at 20th and Chestnut earlier this afternoon:
Today on my way to lunch I encountered a union goon on the corner of 20th & Chestnut handing out flyers related to the “Post Brothers.” I threw the flyer away, but there were some pretty ridiculous claims about the Post Brothers storing and smuggling heroine and cocaine. Incredible (or is it, knowing them) they would resort to these tactics- perhaps a defamation lawsuit against the union is in order? The individual was even wearing union clothing to indicate that he was representing the union.
This wouldn’t be the first time local unions have distributed handbills over the GoldTex flap that contained some fairly wild charges in them. They even ginned up flyers of Matt Pestronk’s wife doing… well, I’ll just show you (Ed: Warning, erect poorly photoshopped and photocopied penis below.)
Most of the ones the Pestronk brothers have collected so far and put on exhibition on PhillyBully aire of being prepared by an adult with a 5th grade education and appeal mainly to anti-gentrification sentiments; with claims that the Pestronk brothers are on a mission to drive low-income black families out of the region.
If you look carefully the lot is filled with confiscated dirt bikes and ATVs, all awaiting destruction. The contributor also mentioned there’s way more than this to the left of the scene which you can’t even see.
If you recall, yours truly launched a change.org campaign to change PPD’s policy to discourage illegal dirt bike and ATV riding in Philadelphia. That led to City Council adopting changes from Councilwoman-At-Large Blondell Reynolds-Brown to forbid resales of confiscated vehicles, raise the reclamation fees for owners to reclaim confiscated vehicles, and to allow the police to destroy unclaimed vehicles instead of turning them over to the Philadelphia Parking Authority who would resell the vehicles at auction to the same people responsible for riding them illegally in Philly.
While there are still plenty of riders taking to the streets illegally it has discouraged some new riders coming on to the streets and the heavy cost to get back a confiscated dirt bike and ATV has stopped the re-circulation of these vehicles bouncing back and forth between riders and law enforcement.
To that, hats off to Councilwoman Reynolds-Brown and to the Police Department for getting this done and to everyone of you who signed the petition and raised hell with your city officials to help get this done.
In yesterday’s post about the shenanigans going on at South Philly H.O.M.E.S. Inc, I made a slip-up in stating how Claudia Sherrod managed to get her hands on 1444 Point Breeze Avenue, the current headquarters of SPHINC.
The normal procedure for dispensation of much city-owned property to a non-profit is through decision of the VPRC (Vacant Property Review Committee), which is a consortium within City government tasked in deciding the best use for dispensing the vast array of city-owned blight. District Council Members (at the time, Ana Verna was 2nd District councilwoman) carry heavy weight in this process.
The Redevelopment Authority specifically turned over the building to SPHINC for free so it could use it as its headquarters. SPHINC then happily decided to give the property to Claudia Sherrod and her husband and rent it back from her for $5,000 a year.
Or to put it more simply: the PRA had no idea when they gave SPHINC the property that it would turn it over to its (now former) executive director.