In May of 1998, City Council passed a resolution honoring a stretch of Dock Street with a secondary name: Edmund Bacon Way. It was named for the city’s former planning commission director — the man famous for Penn Center, Market East, Society Hill and other areas during his 21-year tenure.
“I’m so used to being in this room over there; where that desk is where I came during the 21 years I was director,” Bacon said at City Council while accepting the honor. “I beseeched you — as a very humble servant — to, number one, give me money for the planning commission and, number two, to let me do what I wanted.”
In seventeen years since naming the stretch of Dock Street between Columbus Boulevard and S. 2nd Street after Edmund Bacon, the city has apparently changed it: While running by this morning, I noticed the street sign now reads “Edmond Beacon Way.” Yes, both his first and last names are spelled incorrectly.
The Streets Department didn’t return a request for comment. (Anyway, what would they say?) There’s no sign in the latest Google StreetView from June 2014, so the sign has been installed some time in the last year.
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Believe it or not, Philadelphia’s sick leave law goes into effect Wednesday.
Why would that be so hard to believe? Consider: Mayor Nutter vetoed sick leave legislation twice in recent years before undergoing a conversion on the issue. And opposition to such worker-friendly requirements is so intense that Republicans tried to block Philly’s bill in the Pennsylvania Legislature. (They’ve only passed the Senate with their bill; even if they get the House, they’d have to do so in sufficient numbers to override a likely veto from Gov. Tom Wolf.)
Now, according to some estimates, 200,000 Philadelphia workers stand to benefit. Read more »
Councilman Bill Greenlee has an idea: He wants to tax Philadelphians who rent out their rooms for the pope’s visit.
I have a different idea: How about we don’t?
Maybe I’d think differently if the 8.5 pecent tax on room rentals would go to city schools, a one-time windfall they surely wouldn’t refuse. But as the Inquirer notes: “Hotel tax revenue is split between the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, Visit Philadelphia, and the Convention Center.” Those are worthy organizations: They bring visitors and their money to town — and as the old trope goes, it takes money to make money, etc. etc. Read more »
The Philadelphia Parking Authority wants to offer a new smartphone app that would nearly automate the process of paying for on-street parking, but it has run into opposition from the Nutter Administration. Turns out the city that gave the world Parking Wars depends on some friction in the process.
Otherwise, officials say, it’ll be hard to raise money for Philadelphia public schools. KYW reports: Read more »
In December, Ferguson protesters interrupted traffic in much of Center City. | Jack Cotter
Philadelphia officials said today they’re ready for today’s “Philly Is Baltimore” protest at City Hall. No traffic or transit detours were planned — yet — but the city’s court system said it would close for business by mid-afternoon “out of an abundance of caution.” Read more »
Turns out, lots of people have very strong feelings about Comcast.
So many of them have strong feelings, in fact, that the basement conference room at the Philadelphia City Institute — the site of the first in a series of meetings about the company’s franchise agreement renewal with the city — was filled to overflowing during a lunchtime meeting today, as a parade of speakers marched forward to share how they believe Comcast can better serve the company’s Philadelphia customers.
There were the usual complaints about customer service and billing but also pleas for the company to maintain access to and funding for the PhillyCAM network of community-access channels, demands for a la carte channel selection, and challenges for the company to increase its commitment to public education in the city.
“We should be the shining example of what they can offer the rest of the country,” said one man, a Drexel grad who works as a web developer. Read more »
Image by Pennsporter via Instagram
The plans for the 12-story apartment building near Penn Treaty Park met the Fishtown Neighbors Association last night, and let’s just say it didn’t go too well. Jared Brey of PlanPhilly reports FNA voted to oppose two of apartment complexes proposed by Core Realty–1100 North Delaware Avenue (picture above) and 1212 North Delaware Avenue.
1100 North Delaware Avenue is the former Edward Corner Building and plans called to scrap the former maritime shop in favor of a 12-story apartment complex with ground floor retail. It would also include two-bedroom townhomes on the Allen Street side of the building with a pedestrian pass through to Delaware Avenue. Here’s the crux of the situation from Brey:
In order to get the two buildings approved, Samschick will need a number of fairly minor variances for lot coverage, open area, the number of loading docks, floor area ratio, and setbacks on the roof deck at 1100 N. Delaware. That building is the bigger of the two; it would house 180 apartment units, office space and a rooftop pool.
Residents said the request for variances does not mesh with the Central Delaware zoning overlay, a plan that took years to develop and set the guidelines for development in the area. Brey reports that nearly two-thirds of those in attendance raised their hands in opposition to both projects.
Fishtown group rejects two development proposals on Delaware Ave. [PlanPhilly]
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The new City Hall gates. | Renderings and designs from Vitetta.
Given City Hall’s grandeur, one of the more annoying features of the building has been the sad-sack gates at the four portals to the interior courtyard. They’re made of chain link, like you’d see on the perimeter of a prison, only without the razor wire.
Well, those gates are in for a pretty breathtaking upgrade in the not-too-distant future. Working off a conceptual design proposed by John McArthur Jr., the original architect of City Hall, the architecture firm Vitetta has come up with a painstakingly detailed, historically reverent set of schematics for the new gates, which could be completed by the end of the year, according to Bridget Collins Greenwald, the city’s Public Property Commissioner.
This is interesting news for an obvious reason: the gorgeous new gates are one more step of what’s become a very, very long project to burnish the tarnished jewel that is City Hall. But it’s interesting for another reason as well: Vitetta happens to have mayoral candidate and former City Councilman Jim Kenney on retainer as a consultant, at the rate of $75,000 a year. Read more »
Mayor Nutter speaks about the franchise agreement with Comcast during a midday press conference on Thursday.
Twenty-six percent of Philadelphia Comcast subscribers are unhappy with the company’s service, according to a new report (below) released as City Hall begins the public phase of renewing the company’s 15-year franchise agreement with the city.
That overall satisfaction rate was lower than in other markets studied in recent years, according to the report, and while Mayor Michael Nutter tried to spin it positively — as a 74 percent approval rate, great for politicians — he concluded: “That is not satisfactory to me or city government.”
A Comcast spokesman called the report “flawed,” but declined to elaborate. Read more »
Today at noon, Groundswell, a program of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, will gather supporters at City Hall for the annual Philadelphia Arts Advocacy Day. This year they’re directing their attention to Mayor Nutter’s proposed 40-percent budget cut for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund (PCF) for fiscal year 2016.
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