Philadelphia + a Pipeline (or Two) = America’s Next Energy Hub

The PES refinery in South Philly. Photograph by Jonathan Barkat

The PES refinery in South Philly. Photograph by Jonathan Barkat

About 1,400 miles from Philadelphia, at the northern edge of the Louisiana bayou, lies a spaghetti junction of steel tubing called Henry Hub, where 13 natural-gas pipelines converge amid farmland and little else. The nearest town, Erath, population 2,100, is about four miles away.

Gas from all over the country flows through the Henry Hub. Even gas extracted from drill pads just 100 miles or so from Philadelphia — gas sucked from the almost unfathomably rich reserves of the Marcellus Shale — is often pumped to distant Louisiana before making the long, and expensive, return trip to homes and businesses in Philadelphia.

Apart from Henry Hub, this section of Louisiana is probably best known for the bizarre cautionary tale of extraction run amok at nearby Lake Peigneur. There, in 1980, an oil crew dug too deep, puncturing a hole in a working salt mine that lay beneath the lake bed. As water rushed into the mine, a swirling vortex formed on the lake surface, swallowing two drilling platforms and 11 barges. The suction reversed the flow of a canal leading to the Gulf of Mexico, and within a few hours, a shallow fishing hole had turned into a 1,300-foot-deep saltwater lake.
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Construction Firm Moving Headquarters to Philadelphia

Hill International Inc., an international construction firm, is relocating its headquarters from New Jersey to Philadelphia, and expects to create more than 200 jobs here.

Area Development Online reports:

The company has leased nearly 60,000 square feet at One Commerce Square, located at 2005 Market Street in Center City Philadelphia, to serve as its global corporate headquarters, moving the site from southern New Jersey and merging with its existing office in the city.

As an incentive, the company received a funding proposal from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development including a $1 million Pennsylvania First Program grant that facilitates investment and job creation, $666,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits and $33,750 in WEDnetPA funding which will be used for skills training for both new and incumbent employees. Hill International has accepted the funding proposal, but must still apply for each program prior to award receipt.

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Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney Reveal Plans for 13th and Locust

Foobooz has the scoop on Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s plans for their space at 13th and Locust streets, the location formerly known as Bump and Q. Unlike Little Nonna’s, which was inspired by Marcie’s Italian grandmother, the new space gets new life courtesy of Turney’s heritage.

From Turney's Instagram: "This is #Bud&Marilyn's restaurant opening day photo in 1950."

From Turney’s Instagram: “This is #Bud&Marilyn’s restaurant opening day photo in 1950.”

The restaurant will be called Bud & Marilyn’s in honor of Turney’s grandparents who ran a restaurant in Wisconsin for forty years. Turney’s Instagram feed contains several clues for what’s planned. There’s a photo of what her grand parents’ restaurant looked like back on its opening day in 1950 (right), the epitome of mid-Century diner. Her Instagram avatar also shows what could very well be a rendering of what’s planned for Bud & Marilyn’s. This all jives with what we’ve heard whispered for the concept, something like throwback American or classic American-diner.

So I guess this pretty much squashes my suspicion that they were working with former Sisters manager Denise Cohen to open a lesbian bar.

Here’s Why Philly Businesses Will Gladly Pay Millions for the Pope and DNC

Photo | Shutterstock.com

Photo | Shutterstock.com

Fact: If the Democratic National Committee decides to hold its 2016 convention in Philadelphia the cost could range anywhere from $50-$75 million dollars. While the federal government would pick up most of this cost, as much as $10 million could fall on our local government (at least, that’s what New York’s mayor predicts if the convention came to his town).

Fact: When the pope visits Philadelphia in 2015 as part of the World Meeting of Families the estimated cost could be another $13 million, (the city of Milan paid 10 million euros when it hosted the event in 2012).

Fact: $10 million plus $13 million means the city could be on the hook for up to $23 million in additional expenses for these two events. Maybe even more.

Fact: It’s likely that Philadelphia’s business community will step up and raise the money to pay this bill so that taxpayers are not out of pocket. “We’re the fifth largest city in America,” Comcast’s David Cohen recently said in a radio interview. “And I think our civic leadership has the capacity to be able to raise the money to host these two pretty special events in consecutive years in Philadelphia.”

Great!  The city needs $23 million, and the business community will likely step up.

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3 Rules for Surviving (and Thriving) on Yelp

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My sister is a really good doctor. She runs two busy offices in South Philly. Her patients include CEOs of large companies and union workers from the neighborhood. She sees everything from colds to cancer and knows the best specialists in town. I wouldn’t let her cut my fingernails, of course. But that’s because she’s my sister and I still remember her as a bossy 15-year-old. But her patients I know love her.

Except for this one guy. He skewered her on Yelp. He complained about her office. He gave her a low rating. And what was worse, that she didn’t even know about it until somebody (that was a gloating me) told her about it. She barely knew about Yelp. But apparently, her office was listed there and a handful of people made comments — all great except for the one guy. And it really, really upset her. I get it — people don’t like to hear bad stuff.

Is your business on Yelp? You better check.

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