Witnesses have described an explosion just before the collapse of two three row homes in South Philadelphia on the 400 block of Daly Street this morning, reports Fox29.
FOX 29′s Dave Schratwieser spoke to a witness at the scene who was half a block away and said, “It was definitely an explosion.” He reported hearing it, then looking out the window and seeing back of the building blown into the street.
Officials are saying that six eight people have been injured, including an infant struck by flying glass. Needless to say, it’s been a bad stretch for Philadelphia’s structural integrity.
Follow our ongoing coverage on Philadelphia magazine’s real estate blog, Property.
Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29
In the wake of Pope Francis’s stunning statement on homosexuality yesterday in Rio — asking, “who am I to judge?” regarding homosexuals who “accept the lord and have good will” — we reached out to Rocco Palmo, the South Philly-based Catholic blogging juggernaut behind Whispers in the Loggia, to get a quick take on what the Pope’s World Youth Day revelation means for the church’s stance on gays.
Palmo, despite this being his self-proclaimed day of rest after a busy week of following the Pope’s trip (from afar), was more than willing to contextualize for us.
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We sent Philadelphia magazine photo intern Eddy Rhenals-Narvaez out into the haze this week with one directive: With a massive heat wave bearing down on the region, find out of how Philadelphians are beating the heat.
(All photos by Eddy Rhenals-Narvaez)
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On Sunday, Philadelphians gathered throughout the course of the day at LOVE Park to voice their anger about the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. In a series of impassioned speeches by activists in the African American community (including Paula Peebles chair of the Philadelphia National Action Network, fifth photo, and radio host/political consultant Mannwell Glenn) , attendees were encouraged to fight for justice and to make an economic impact by boycotting products from Florida.
At one point, a second group chanting “Fired up, can’t take no more,” marched up to join the group already assembled, approximately doubling the head count.
Signs at the rally ranged from hopeful to outraged.
(All photos | Brian Howard)
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When Edward Snowden alerted the world to the United States government’s massive PRISM surveillance program, the subsequent ride up the bestseller lists for George Orwell’s 1984 was a no-brainer. When life imitates dystopia so neatly, it’s natural to hop a ride on the freak-out train.
On Monday, a story broke that hearkens to another classic in the dark-future canon, when The Guardian reported that the baby Philadelphia couple David Levy and Marybeth Scheidts had in May was the product of a new in vitro fertilization technique that allows doctors to map the genomes of five-day-old embryos to determine which will have the best chance coming to term.
“It can’t make embryos better than they were in the beginning,” Oxford University fertility specialist Dagan Wells told The Guardian, “but it can guide us to the best ones.”
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As the Inquirer’s Karen Heller reported over the weekend, for a month this summer between the behemoth Welcome America and Made In America festivals, the city is going to be tricking out Eakins Oval. The combined grassy expanse/paved parking lot/infield for the daily Eakins 500 to and from Kelly Drive and I-76 will be stripped of its parking lot function so it can be the site of a pop-up park featuring faux beaches, beer gardens, food trucks, movies and the like.
It’s part of an ongoing effort to calm and reclaim the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from speeding motorists, with the poetic goal of transforming the link between the seat of the city’s political power and its shiniest cultural jewels into an idyllic urban utopia, complete with gardens, pick-up chess games, outdoor yoga classes, impromptu Shakespeare readings and so many amenities. (Read all about it in “More Park, Less Way,” a relatively spellbinding read as city planning documents go, complete with hypothetical days on the parkway for seniors, millennials, tourists, yuppie parents and other marketable demographics.)
Calming Parkway traffic and removing cars from Eakins Oval for a month is, indeed, a nice start. A couple of commenters on Heller’s philly.com piece, however, misread the story (or had it read aloud to them incorrectly), undestanding it to mean that the city was planning to remove cars from the Parkway completely. “Ridiculous!” they cried. “We need that road! That’s why we paid for it!”
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No matter what you think of Edward Snowden — heroic whistleblower or straight-up traitor — it’s hard to deny that the post-leak escapades of the former CIA/NSA contractor has been one part international intrigue (Hong Kong! Russia! Julian Assange!), one part tabloid freak show (the pole-dancing, purple prose-spewing jilted girlfriend) and one last part slow-motion chase that’s made white Bronco on the 405 seem like high-speed daredevilry. It’s as if we’re all playing a very drawn-out game of Risk (from a purely strategic standpoint, his best route was clearly China > India > Middle East > Egypt > North Africa > Brazil > Peru/Ecuador)
As of press time, Snowden was still the world’s public enemy/persona non grata/cause celebre No. 1 — and single-handedly reawakening the world to the vagaries of Carmen Sandiego.
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There have been times lo these last five and a half years when Mayor Michael Nutter has seemed like a world-beater, when it’s felt like Philadelphia was a changed city, one regaining the swagger befitting a world-class metropolis.
These last few weeks, however, have pointedly not felt like that. The mayor’s policies and legacy feel like they’re in the midst of a sort of public referendum in the wake of the tragic building collapse and suspected failings at L&I. Which may or may not be fair. To pin the ongoing dysfunction of any one of the city’s many historically flawed agencies on a particular mayor is a tough sell, at least if one’s being intellectually honest with oneself. Because, y’know, how much can one man do?
But then one looks 90 miles to the north and sees New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — a politician so adept at passing progressive and/or controversial legislation that he looks like a man playing pickup basketball against a bunch of little kids. It’s enough to give one a serious case of mayor envy.
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Perhaps you, like me, heard that the U.S. Open was coming to Ardmore and thought, “Ooh, tennis.”
Then you heard it was a golf thing and thought, “Oh, I can ignore that because golf is just people walking around carrying bags of sticks.”
But you can’t. Because the U.S. Open is what people who don’t fall asleep watching golf call “a major tournament.” And Tiger Woods, the only golfer TMZ has ever bothered to cover (on account of famously cheating on his now-ex-wife, Elin Nordegren), is playing in it. Woods will likely have his new girlfriend, bombshell Olympic skier Linsdey Vonn, in tow. And he’s classily handling the racially insensitive remarks of knuckleheaded golfing Spaniard Sergio Garcia by shaking hands and refusing to become engaged in discussion about said remarks. Read more »
Paying taxes this year made me understand the nut jobs in the Tea Party.
A recent study shows that Philadelphia is about as hospitable to small businesses as porcupines are to cuddling. While CardHub’s analysis cited Philly’s small business vitality, unemployment, stress and cost of living among its reasons for naming Philly the fourth worst of the United States’ 30 largest metropolitan areas, I’ve got my own axe to grind. In 2012, although I have a full-time job, I also filed taxes as a small business on account of my modest but burgeoning freelance earnings.
The City of Philadelphia has made me question whether hustling for extra assignments and paychecks is worth the effort—the exact opposite of the enterprising, entrepreneurial spirit so cherished in these days when startups are cooler than bands. Read more »