The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 3, 1979 · Page 3
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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 3

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 3, 1979
Page 3
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Tuesday, April 3, 1979 Philadelphia Inquirer 3-B J METROPOLITAN- Phila. urges HUD to reverse decision to cut off aid comment yesterday on the city's letter. At this point, city officials said they plan an appeal through the usual procedure dictated by HUD. Should HUD refuse to reverse its decision, City Solicitor Sheldon L. Albert said, the city then would request a hearing before a HUD administrative law judge. If the city were overruled by an administrative law judge, "we undoubtedly would go to court," Albert said. HUD's decision to disallow the city's UDAG applications followed the decision by the City Council to appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court a federal court order requiring the construction of the long-delayed Whitman Park public housing development. Gallery's letter called the council's appeal a proper action "under the law on an issue of importance to the legislative branch of government. I do not believe that any federal agencies have the right to use one of their grant programs to prevent the city from following a course of legal action through the appeals process." The loss of the federal funds will effectively prevent the city from proceeding with three major economic development projects. The projects are: $5 million for construction of new facilities for the Blwyn Institute in West Philadelphia, which provides services for the retarded and disabled; $12 million for the Hunting Park West industrial development project, and $3 million for 400 new and rehablitated housing units in the Haddington section of West Philadelphia and the Hunting Park West area. By William K. Marimow Inquirer SUttVTT The Rizzo administration has appeal to federal officials to rescind a decision that Philadelphia is ineligible for $21 million in federal grants because of delays in building the Whitman Park townhouse project in South Philadelphia. The appeal was made public in a four-page letter sent Friday by John A. Gallery, director of Housing and Community Development, to the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Con tents of the letter were released yesterday by the managing director's office. In his letter, Gallery asserted that the city's efforts to provide housing for the poor "have been as successful as (those of) any major city in the country." . Noting that other major cities had retained their eligibility for the fed--eral program, Gallery wrote that the HUD decision was "not only unfair and unreasonable . . . but also discriminatory." Robert C. Embry Jr., HUD assist ant secretary, announced last month that none of the city's three applications under the Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) program would be approved. Embry wrote city officials that the decision was based on the "city's most recent obstruction to ... the Whitman Park project." The loss of the three UDAG grants, according to Gallery, will cost the city approximately $120 million in private investment and 3,000 new jobs. Embry could not be reached for Harman trial told of threat By Roger Cohn Inquirer Stall Writer A Philadelphia woman testified yesterday in Bucks County Court that, less than two weeks before his death, Yves Bordes told her that he intended to kill Constance Harman. Testifying at the murder trial of Mrs. Harman, 45, a civic leader who is accused of slaying Bordes last August, Faith Mbonu said Bordes also had told her that he once beat Mrs. Harman so severely that he "almost killed her." "Did Mr. Bordes ever tell you that he was going to kill her (Mrs. Har- man)?" public defender John M. Mc-Clure asked Mrs. Mbonu. "Yes," she replied. "How many times?" McClure continued. "It was maybe once," Mrs. Mbonu said. Under further questoning, Mrs. Mbonu indicated that Bordes' state- cnt that he planned to kill Mrs. rman might have been made only 3 days before Bordes's body, with . ee bullet holes in the back of the cad, was found at a South Philadelphia housing project. Mrs. Harman, of Northampton Township, is charged with shooting to death Bordes, 30, in a Trevose motel room and dumping his body near a parking lot at the housing project last Aug. 28. Mrs. Harman, who was separated from her husband, had been romatically involved with Bordes for about nine months. Mrs. Mbonu, who described herself as "one of Yves' girlfriends," testified that Bordes, along with Mrs. Harman, came to her home last Aug. 22 and that Bordes told her then that he was living at Mrs. Harman's . house. "She (Mrs. Harman) told me that he had hurt her," Mrs. Mbonu stated. "She said that she had been beaten and that her eyes had been bloodied." Mrs. Mbonu also said that, about 10 days or two weeks earlier, Bordes told her that he had almost killed Mrs. Harman. Bordes broke down and cried as he told her how he had beaten Mrs. Harman so severely that "her eyes were popping out," Mrs. Mbonu testified. The defense has indicated that it will seek to show that, if Mrs. Harman did kill Bordes, she did so in self-defense, after he had beaten her repeatedly and had threatened to kill her and her family. Also yesterday, Priscilla Wade, who was bordes' neighbor at the Sweetbriar Apartments in Falls Township, tcstficd that she frequently heard Mrs. Harman crying and screaming in pain. Mrs. Wade, who lived directly beneath Erodes' apartment, said she frequently heard Brodes and Mrs. Harman arguing. i J , - v. if -, . State Police Fire Marshal Dennis Smith (right) and Trooper Joel Lander at Pennsylvania hoarding home wh?re 9 died Wire overload blamed in fatal fire Associated Press CONNELLSVILLE. Pa. An overload on electric wiring apparently touched off a fire that killed nine persons and seriously injured two more at a boarding home for the elderly, authorities said yesterday. "It was right there in the basement, right at the fuse box," State Police Fire Marshall Dennis Smith said as he inspected the ruins of the three-story white frame home where the fire broke out las Sunday. Smith said the overload was due to "numerous television sets and radios." Officials said all of the dead were elderly, except for James McCor-. mick, 30, who worked as a handyman. . Leland Williams, Connellsville assistant fire chief, said that there 1 A-bomb designer John Aristotle Phillips during anti-nuclear lecture at Penn . . . One who knows says no Special to the Inquirer John Aristotle Phillips, the former Princeton student who designed a nuclear bomb for a physics class project in 1976, has been lecturing ever since about the dangers of nuclear power. Under the circumstances, the audience of 200 persons at the University of Pennsylvania last night, was especially attentive as Phillips, 23, spoke dourly about the implications of the malfunctions at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg. "Why don't they just admit that they don't know what an acceptable level of radiation is?" he asked rhetorically, referring to official reassurances that the radiation seepages are not high enough to harm people living near the plant. "We need nuclear energy as much as we need cancer." "The accident at Three Mile Island," he said, "should seve as a warning. National energy pol were no smoke alarms and that a dresser in second-floor room was partially blocking a window that led to a fire sescape. Smith declined to say if there might have been violations of state fire codes. "I wouldn't comment on that right now. I would assume the Department of Labor and Industry will be in to look the place over. As a boarding home for the elderly, the residents did not fall under state guidelines on nursing homes," he said. Williams said five of those killed slept in the basement, where the fire started. He said the flames spread rapidly, blocking the two exists from the bas-ment a door to the outside anf stairs to the first floor. "The fire started by the one door z .... ..y -( r.-r . ,;" .. -. icy is too important to be left up to the utilities. Nuclear power is yet another example of big business and big government making yet another big mistake." Phillips' lecture, sponsored by the Penn Lecture Series and by the anti-nuclear group, Keystone Alliance, struck a responsive chord among the audience, comprising mostly students, although it lacked the fervor that characterized similar meetings during the anti-war period of the '60s. No one spoke optimistically about nuclear power. Since de igning the bomb from unclassified government documents anda knowledge of basic physics, Phillips has devoted himself to decidedly non-nuclear ventures. Back in his hometown of New Haven, Conn., he is hoping to manufacture and market in time for Christmas a line of calculators and wristwatches that double as blood-pressure testers. and moves across the ceiling to the stairway," he said. "They really didn't have a chance to get out." Four other residents, pronounced dead at Connellsville State Hospital, were found on the first and secon floors, firefighters said. Deputy Coroner L. John Powell said most of the victims died from smoke inhalation. The owner of the jme, Helen Marietta. 54, was ho . italized for shock. Her 76-year-old mother, Leona Porterfield, was among those killed. Also killed, authorities said, were George Kooser. in his 80s; Mary Dzu-rik, 78, Laura Prinkey, 76; Nellie Swartz, 84; Anna Taylor. 71, and Hilda Ilarky and Edmond Ziemtar-ski. ages unknown. The hospital said Elizabeth Zam-arrelli, 74, and Bessie Richter, 77, -3 and at city protest If " i Associated Prs were both in guarded condition. Williams said the residents are unable to find places in slate nursing homes and unable to afford private homes. "These people just didn't have any other place to go," he said. "The exits, the overcrowded conditions, that's the whole problem. It's not classified as a nursing home and we have no state regulations to cover it." Mayor James Wagner said the home had been visited in past motnhs by fire, building code and health officials and that a fire escape had been installed upon request. "She (the owner) was very cooperative," he said. "But you must realize she was dealing with people on limited incomes, and because of that, her reserves were very limited, too." ft Philadelphia Inquirer J. KINGSTON COLEMAN f O'Neill on tape: : Rizzo was behind his charter drive ? By JanSchaffer Inquirer Stall Writer Alfred E. Smith O'Neill told an FBI informant in December that Mayor Frank L. Rizzo and John McCul-tough, business manager of Local 30 of the Roofers Unioh, approached him to lead a drive to change the City Charter so that Rizzo could run for a third term. "The feds are after (me) because of the charter, because of Frank," O'Neill told informant Charles Allen in a conversation secretly tape-recorded by Allen Dec. 29 in the Commissary restaurant. The transcrip of the Dec. 29 tape was made public yesterday. In the past, both Rizzo and O'Neill have adamantly stated that they had never met each other and denied that a pro-charter change group organized by O'Neill and his wife, Food Fair heiress Sally Friedland O'Neill, was a front for Rizzo. O'Neill was convicted last month on 52 counts of bank and mail fraud. Rizzo could not be reached for comment yesterday on the disclosure. When questoned about Allen's report, McCullough said yesterday that he "never approached anybody for nothing. I don't know nothing about it." Allen is a confessed hit-man who has been supplying federal investigators with information on alleged murders, arsons, racketeering and other activities of East Coast mobsters and union officers. Allen told prosecutors that O'Neill asked him weeks before O'Neill's bank-fraud trial opened to try to persuade witnesses to change their testimony, federal officials said yesterday. Allen secretly taped two conversations with O'Neill, one on Dec. 29, and a second on Jan. 21, in which O'Neill was heard to supply Allen with a list of certain government witnesses who were to testify against him at his trial. The tapes were impounded during O'Neill's trial and kept from prosecutors trying the case. U.S. District Judge Louis H. Pollack took the action to guard against possible charges that prosecutors had put a spy (Allen) in the defense camp to learn of O'Neill's defense strategy. Judge Pollak released the tapes at the request of U. S. Attorney Peter Vaira, who said he would use them in filing a motion in about a week to revoke bail for O'Neill. Vaira said the Jan. 21 tape still had to be transcribed properly. It is expected to be made public today. On the Dec. 20 tapes, O'Neill tells Allen: "You know, I came out and led that charter drive last year. We Phila. businessman found shot to death By Dick Cooper Inquirer Stall Writer A businessman was found shot to death in his Brewerytown office at about 7. p.m. yesterday, police reported. Detectives said Benjamin Phillips, 62, owner of Phillip's Industrial Finishing Co., a metal-furniture refin-ishing firm at 1507 N. 33d St.. had been shot several times. Police said they have no suspects. - ' 'I! - - ww.. ransacked for valuables, and the $100 Phillips usually carried was missing, leading police to suspect robbery as the motive for the killing, investigators said. Phillips is believed to have been dead since Saturday afternoon or evening. Police said there were no signs of a struggle. Capt. Donald Patterson of the icide division said Phillips, who lived on tbe 50U0 block ot brown Street, West Philadelphia, was found on the floor of his second-floor office by an employe, Herman Ballard, 27. Ballard one of eight company employes, told police he last saw Phillips alive about 12:30 pm. Saturday, when the company had closed for business. Police said Phillips customarily did paper work at the office on Saturdays after the employes left. Neighbors said yesterday that Phillips had operated the business In the two-story building for more than 10 years. Phillips' car was found parked lost. John McCullough and Franfc Rizzo approached me last October. Because I had just met and married a famous lady and famous father-in-law and could I talk them into starting a charter drive. See, they're clean as a whistle. You can't touch' them. ..." "Who, Rizzo?" Allen asked. "No, the Friedlands," O'Neill responded. O'Neill's wife recently was sued by the federal government in an effort to recover more than $10,000 it paid, a public defender to represent O'Neill, who claimed he was in-, digent and could not afford an attorney. Cable-TV offer probed as 'ripoff By Connie Langland Inquire r Stall Writer "A front row seat" to cable televi-sion service was being offered to residents of the Richmond and Kensington sections of the city in flyers distributed over the weekend. But local and postal authorities, responding to inquiries, yesterday began investigating to determine whether the offer was legitimate. City Council President George X. Schwartz termed the offer "a complete ripoff." According to the flyers, a firm called Teleview Productions plans to start cable television and Home Box Office service to residents of the area beginning in May and offers a discount installation price of $13 to anyone signing up this week. A post office box number was included. "They can't possibly have a franchise," Schwartz said. "They can't possibly operate." The City Council last month approved legislation moving the city closer to a cable television system but warned that franchises might not be approved until next year. Only one firm, Telesystem, operates in the city, under a franchise approved for the South Philadelphia area. Public Property Commissioner Robert Silver said yesterday that the bid process should begin soon but tha no franchise would be awarded for some time. across the street from the building. Police said he had not been reported missing because his wife was out of town over the weekend. Detectives were questioning neighbors yesterday to determine if anyone had heard shots or had seen -anyone fleeing from the building. . Lamer to direct Delco Democrats . Delaware County Democrats have elected Leo Lamer, 57, of Aston Township as their new party chairman. Lamer, a business consultant for major corporations seeking Defense Department contracts for military hardware and clothing, was elected at a special election Sunday at Hav-erford High School. He defeated former party chairman Peggy Cher-pack, of Radnor, by a vote of 220-206. : Lamer succeeds Fernando (Ford) Vitelli of Chester, who resigned last month after less than a year as party chairman in a controversial reign marked by interparty squabblin and severe setbakes in last November's election. Attributing his election victory to his promise of "conciliation and unification for the party," Lamer said yesterday, "I offered a different approach. I'm here to serve the party and not to have the party serve me."

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