Friday, August 31, 2007

In other Friday news

Friday's top two stories

Again, two seemed much more interesting than the rest, in part because they're, you know, new stuff:
  • New towers to rise on 30th St. -- that is, our first glimpse of UPenn's plan for the parcel of land they acquired along the western banks of the Schuylkill River. The schematics include a large office tower (Cira Center South), a residential tower on Chestnut, conversion of the US Post Office building into IRS offices, and eventually some more athletic fields and other open space. Plans span more than five years, but would go a long way toward bridging the underpopulated gap between Penn and the river (and thus Center City). Exciting prospects!

  • Probably a longer shot, but still a novelty: Future of Pa. six-pack sales is now a case for justices -- that is, might Pennsylvanians be trusted to buy beer at grocery and convenience stores, like residents of other states? It's almost too much to imagine... The article is a trip through the arcana of state beer regulations.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

In other Thursday news

Thursday top stories

Two stories stood out for me today among the general clamor:
  1. A group in Bucks County is going to set up a solar power array large enough to power some 400 homes. It's the brain-child of a pair of local entrepreneurs, although it's being funded through some of the big alternative power players. Go, green options! (Also notable is that there are ongoing programs for homeowners to put solar panels on their own homes.)

  2. A prime piece of Philadelphia real estate, in the 2000 block of Sansom, will no longer be held hostage by a disputed PPA project, as they gave up after eight years of planning and court battle, selling the property to some developers. No word yet on what the latter have in mind for the site, but presumably they learned something from the reaction to the PPA's proposed demolition of three historic buildings . . . Now if we could just do something about that grassy lot on Chestnut!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wednesday headlines

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tuesday news roundup -- headline edition

Monday, August 27, 2007

Still summer in Philly

Most of the news seems slumberous to me, but here's what caught my eye upon my return from computerless traipsing around the country...
  • Fumo said to push bill for same-sex-partner rights. Sounds like he's looking for some minimally controversial approaches, like avoiding civil union/marriage chat in favor of economic and other protections that might have some sense of passing. Hoping to forestall a Dicker challenge by appealing to one of her major bases? Looking to polish his image with liberals? Only time will tell. Mere rumors of this development were enough to prompt discussion over at YPP about the Senator's motives and the strategic implications for gay rights activists.

  • Last week saw a hearing on casino plans that included revised traffic estimates but allowed no room for discussion or public input into the practicality of the proposed solutions. Sounds brutal, and the author is frothing for reform of our regulatory system(s).

  • Probably everybody knows this by now, but SEPTA's elimination of transfers is blocked by court order (subject, of course, to various appeals). I'm sure we'll hear more about how SEPTA handles its perceived cash needs and (disposable?) ridership...

  • The Inquirer's Great Expectations project is sponsoring ongoing forums/dinners for citizens to talk with and question the mayoral candidates. Two bloggers have summarized the dinners they attended in the last week or two: mdcphilly at YPP (who went to Mount Airy) and Albert (who went to South PHilly, and includes stellar photos along the way). Both give a good feel for the participants and the issues discussed.

  • AAJane has an interview with David Landau, a candidate for Delaware County Council, that will be of interest to those in that voting area (as well as general political geeks such as myself).

  • Lots of action on my favorite blogs in the last two weeks, which I'll just touch on here:

    1. How DC may screw up the PA insurance program for children by changing its requirements.
    2. Seth Williams still doing a great job as Inspector General, this time nipping water bill fraudsters.

    Skyline Online:

    1. Family Court: Farewell Logan Square, Hello Love Park
    2. For Sale: Groovy Gov't Office Bldg.
    3. CCRA Attacks SS Bridge Design (perhaps their muscle will get a listen)
    4. Also For Sale: My Shining White Knight -- the Inquirer building!

    Philly/dragonball: great photos of the Comcast Center under construction!

  • In the amusing department, an Inquirer writer dips a toe into the ineffable question of how sports fans determine their loyalties, especially after they relocate between regions . . .

  • Also, for those interested in the history of the Philly area and its various structures and infrastructures, a new blog called The Necessity of Ruins offers an interesting perspective worth checking out.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday roundup: Prevacation edition

Will be on the road for a couple weeks, so this will be the last update until late in the month...
Have a good August and stay cool!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thursday headlines

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Quick Wednesday roundup

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

In other Tuesday news...

Tuesday SEPTA-related news

  • The federal government is becoming involved in the transfer debate:
    In the letter, dated Friday, the [Federal Transit] administration's office of civil rights told SEPTA that it must conduct an analysis as to whether any proposed fare increase would "have a disproportionately high and adverse effect on minority and low-income riders."
    I think we already know the answer there; less clear is what action, if any, the federal agency might be prepared to take (funding cuts?). The letter was discussed as part of the hearings being held. A decision in the local case is expected no sooner than Friday.

  • The DN has a related story with the headline SEPTA transfers to stay - for now, which also describes arguments being made.

  • The Metro's version catches the quote that the head of SEPTA's ridership division was unaware of the federal mandate to do an impact study before undertaking restructuring of fares. oops.

Most random story of the week

Drexel West? Outside Sacramento? Apparently so, as the combination of an expanding city in need of higher educational institutions and a donor willing to give a substantial chunk of land and funding make possible the founding of a new college with a similar focus on local students. Apparently the linkage of such ambitions to Drexel comes via a personal connection with the college's President, who appears to love ambitious projects...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Quick Monday roundup -- headline edition

Friday, August 03, 2007

Friday headlines

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thursday roundup

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wednesday news bits