June 21, 2014 |
A labor agreement to lower union costs on new construction won unanimous approval Thursday from the Philadelphia Housing Authority's board of commissioners. Herb Wetzel, a PHA commissioner and executive director for housing and community development issues for City Council, said he "never thought he'd see the day that we'd get an affordable housing agreement in Philadelphia. " Under the pact, the building trades would lower costs by 20 percent on large-scale construction projects for the housing authority.
June 15, 2014 |
Philadelphia could have dozens of wheelchair-accessible taxicabs by the end of the year, thanks in part to a federal court order signed Friday. The order was a compromise between the Philadelphia Parking Authority and Disabled in Action of Pennsylvania, and was reached after a three-year court battle. The settlement is contingent on the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission's approving necessary regulations next week. In the five-page decision, U.S. District Judge C. Darnell Jones III states that the Parking Authority will have to issue 150 taxicab medallions in the next 10 years exclusively for wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
June 5, 2014 |
A federal judge signed off Tuesday on a settlement that formally ends the Philadelphia School District's policy of transferring elementary students with autism from school to school with no warning to their families. The settlement came as a result of a class-action lawsuit filed three years ago by parents frustrated by the policy, known by families as "the autism shuffle. " The parents, who all had second graders at Richmond Elementary in Port Richmond, were represented by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.
June 1, 2014 |
New Jersey will channel more than $200 million - in addition to $379 million already allocated - to build replacement rental homes for residents affected by Hurricane Sandy, officials said Friday. It will also, for the first time, prioritize the most affected communities across nine counties, giving special attention to Ocean, Atlantic, and Monmouth. The action came as part of a settlement involving the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the State of New Jersey, its Department of Community Affairs, and the complainants: the Latino Action Network, the New Jersey NAACP, and the Fair Housing Center, a Cherry Hill advocacy group.
May 21, 2014 |
What a difference six days can make. The apparently drunk, unruly passenger who allegedly groped three women before air marshals arrested him after a US Airways flight to London was forced to return to Philadelphia International Airport last Tuesday appeared contrite, fresh-faced, and calm in federal court Monday on charges that he interfered with the flight crew. Robert John Coppack, 40, was led by U.S. marshals into the courtroom of Magistrate Judge Lynne A. Sitarski in handcuffs, and wearing olive-green slacks and shirt.
May 9, 2014 |
CARPENTERS Local 8, one of two trade unions nearing the end of their contracts with the Pennsylvania Convention Center, says the unions were "blindsided" when given new terms in a labor agreement and only 24 hours to "take it or leave it. " "This 24-hour ultimatum at the last minute by the [convention center] board came out of the blue, and the carpenters believe the action itself is totally unreasonable," Local 8 spokesman Marty O'Rourke said. Of the six unions that staff the center, Local 8 and Teamsters Local 107 were the only two that refused to sign a "customer satisfaction agreement" that loosens some work rules.
May 8, 2014 |
THE TEAMSTERS and carpenters who set up exhibits at the Pennsylvania Convention Center could find themselves out of work by Saturday, after refusing yesterday to sign a labor agreement that changes their work rules. Four of the six convention-center unions agreed to a new deal, giving exhibitors more freedom in choosing how their displays are set up and who does what work in the process. The move came after years of dwindling bookings at the center, which was supposed to draw conventions on an international scale.
April 5, 2014 |
Disappointed and vowing to pursue stronger historic preservation protections, advocates for the Boyd Theater said Thursday that they would drop all plans to appeal a March ruling allowing the demolition of the interior of Center City's only remaining movie palace. Preservationist Howard Haas said he and others feared their efforts would grind too slowly through the system while crews continued to dismantle the Boyd's cherished art-deco auditorium, leaving them battling, potentially, over the fate of "four walls" at 1910 Chestnut St. Demolition began just days after the Historical Commission gave its approval on March 14. In the settlement finalized Thursday, Haas' Friends of the Boyd joined with the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia in dropping court and administrative challenges against building owner Live Nation, developer Neal Rodin, and iPic Entertainment, the movie chain that plans to convert the site of the 1928 theater into a high-end multiplex.
March 7, 2014 |
With an overwhelming majority of ayes in a voice vote, the union representing the city's white-collar workforce accepted a new eight-year contract Wednesday night. "They are very happy, they have money in their pockets," said Frederick Wright, president of AFSCME District Council 47, which represents 3,600 employees, including nurses, librarians, and social workers. The agreement, signed by Mayor Nutter and Wright on Feb. 25, ends a five-year contract dry spell for D.C. 47 and is described by both sides as a win-win.
February 28, 2014 |
A two-year stalemate over the redevelopment of the Philadelphia Housing Authority's Queen Lane property occupied by a potter's field in the 18th century is finally over. The authority has entered into an agreement with neighbors and other stakeholders, promising to take special measures if any human remains are unearthed during construction. That includes "reinterring" remains, Kelvin Jeremiah, PHA's president, said Wednesday. The agreement was signed by PHA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Pennsylvania historic preservation officer, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.