Friday, February 16, 2007

Thursday II -- oops!

Totally forgot to come back to these, despite one major bombshell yesterday:
  • The bombshell was the discovery that one of the two winners in Philadelphia's casino site race had undisclosed plans to open a casino in Atlantic City, a linkage that counted against other contenders. (More on the story here.) As a result, Foxwoods may be facing a lawsuit from the Riverwalk casino folks, at the least, although really that proposal lost out because of its proximity to Sugarhouse, the other winner. Anyway, expect more fallout as activists push for reconsideration of the locations anyway, as noted in an Inquirer editorial today...

  • The other big story yesterday was news that after a couple of successful pilot projects have been allowed to languish for ages, at last the city recycling program will be expanded, at least into the West and Southwest Philly neighborhoods. Those should offer a good complement to the Chestnut Hill and Northeast programs that have been running for the last year, although still leaving most of the city with its crappy biweekly coverage and or hard-to-handle sorting requirements. Also, in classic Philly style, this is being done in a half-considered way:
    Belser said it was "unfortunate" the department decided to expand without consulting its Recycling Advisory Committee, of which he is a member.
    At least the plans for further expansion appear to be concrete now, with full city coverage promised within three years. Why not this year?? Expect that and other questions at a hearing next week that includes a Streets Department presentation.

  • Finally, the modified proposal for the Spring Garden development once known as the Barnes Tower has apparently met with neighborhood approval after the tallest section was lowered by 100 feet, some green space was incorporated, maybe parking tweaked, etc. It sounds like a nice mix of sizes and purposes, which would be a more interesting contribution to the area than the bland hotel currently on the site. I suspect that the most important thing was that residents of the neighborhood got to express their concerns and have some input; repect and dialogue go a long way in such matters...


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