What Philly Should Have Learned From Baltimore About Land Banks

maria-quinones-sanchez-head-Shot-400x400After two years of crafting a land bank bill that would streamline the messy, maddening process of buying land from the city, Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez’s legislative magnum opus finally passed a first-reading last week, but far less triumphantly than many would have liked. In the 11th hour, Sanchez capitulated to an amendment by Council President Darrell Clarke that would effectively retain the stifling councilmanic control over the sale of land. (The bill  has since been passed.)

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Sympathy for L&I

Philadelphia Building Collapse

On October 30th, Mayor Nutter announced the creation of a blue-ribbon commission to examine the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) in a never-ending reaction to the June 5th building collapse at 22nd and Market Streets.

The panel is the latest in a sequence of investigation and rage after the disaster, which includes voluminous op-eds in the dailies and a formal investigation by the City Controller’s office. This chorus can lead one to believe the catastrophe was singular. In scope, it was; the collapse killed six people and was one of the largest structural disasters in recent municipal memory.

But Market Street was the Sandy Hook of building collapses. Buildings were falling before, and they have they fallen since.

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Bridges in Bucks and MontCo Crumbling

Officials in Bucks and Montgomery counties gathered at the Sellersville fire department yesterday to draw attention to the dereliction of its bridges and urge legislators to pass a long delayed transportation package.
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Justin Timberlake Mocks Philly Sports Fans, Kind Of

After the Eagles clinched their second straight win on Sunday night, The Social Network star Justin Timberlake (because really, he should rest his laurels more and more upon that role and less on everything else he’s ever done) made a flaccid insult at the crowd, according to a 94WIP reporter:
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Bill Cosby Speaks At Penn, Penn Students Empathize with Temple Students

shutterstock_cosbyBill Cosby came to Penn’s Palestra and gave a speech/act/rant for Homecoming on Saturday night discussing his favorite vague topics, like the importance of family and education. The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that his speech was indistinguishable from everything I’ve heard from him in the past, but as a Temple grad, I’d take like to take this opportunity to speak to Penn students directly:
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Report: Chinatowns Still Disappearing

A report released two weeks ago confirms what people have been worrying about for a few years: That Chinatowns are a dying breed and that their death will lead to our beloved neighborhoods turning into only nominally distinct zones that all have the same pastel designs on their storefronts.
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