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Basement

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NEWS
February 18, 1990 | By CALVIN TRILLIN
Learning that the Defense Department may have stored away $30 billion worth of things it doesn't need made me feel a lot better about my basement. We don't have anywhere near $30 billion worth of stuff down there. In fact, according to the lowest estimate - that would be my wife's - what we have in our basement has no monetary value at all. She didn't actually prepare a formal estimate with hard numbers; I've put them together by extrapolation from the phrase "a bunch of worthless junk.
NEWS
August 4, 1991 | By Christopher Shea, Special to The Inquirer
A fire in a basement storage room caused the evacuation of 23 apartments at the Forge Gate complex on Snyder Road in Towamencin Township on Wednesday night. Damage was limited to Building D of the five-building complex and was estimated at $20,000. One resident was treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation. The storage room was "gutted," said Towamencin Fire Chief Christopher Bohmueller. A laundry room in the basement also sustained heavy heat and smoke damage. The seven apartments on the first floor sustained heat damage, Bohmeuller said, and all 23 apartments in the building sustained smoke damage.
NEWS
September 11, 1991 | by Leon Taylor, Daily News Staff Writer
The strange phone calls about a body in a South Philadelphia house started coming in at the Roundhouse about 6:30 last night, Homicide Lt. Joseph Witte said. After the third or fourth call, detectives went to a rowhouse on Cleveland Street near Fitzwater, talked to the tenants who had moved in just a few months ago, and got permission from them and the owner to dig up the cement basement floor. "We dug down about 20 inches before we found the bones," Witte said. The unidentified skeletal remains - possibly those of a woman - were discovered wrapped in a sheet, just where the caller said they would be, Witte said.
NEWS
December 10, 1987 | By Lara Wozniak, Special to The Inquirer
In a brief meeting Monday, the Lower Merion Planning Commission recommended approving the conversion of a basement to an apartment in the Yorklynne Manor Condominiums at 465-471 City Ave., even though the proposal has yet to win authorization from the Zoning Hearing Board. Commission members John C. Donlevie, William H. Loesche, Davis Pearson and Francis J. Travascio voted in favor of the proposal. James Greenfield, Harry G. Rieger and Eleanor W. Winsor voted against it. A request for permission to expand the number of units on the lot is pending before the zoning board.
NEWS
July 21, 1988 | By Erin Kennedy, Special to The Inquirer
The Warrington Zoning Hearing Board has approved Benjamin Grove's proposal to work out of the basement of his Pickertown Road home. The fire-equipment repairer received an exception Monday night to convert his basement into an office, said township manager Stanley Gawel. The board approved the conversion, 3-0, but limited Grove to paper and telephone work. Grove assured the board that he does all repairs at the fire departments that hire him, Gawel said. The zoning board made short work of the rest of its agenda Monday, continuing two requests for a special exception, Gawel said.
NEWS
March 10, 2011 | By Peter Mucha, Inquirer Staff Writer
Anyone worried about basement flooding might find useful some tips from New Jersey utility PSE&G. Customers of other gas and electric providers should contact their utility company as needed. Peco, which serves Southeastern Pennsylvania, can be reached for non-emergencies at 1-800-494-4000 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday), or for emergencies, including outages, at 1-800-841-4141 round-the-clock. Online reporting, including through mobile devices, is available through www.peco.
NEWS
February 9, 2007 | By Kathy Stevenson
Winter has finally arrived and many of us are spending a lot more time indoors. In this part of the country, that means migrating down to the basement. Whether your basement is used mainly as a place to store "stuff" or a place to store kids, it likely reveals your family's true personality. Upstairs might be the face we show to the public, but down below the designer kitchen anything goes. The most desirable basements, in my continuing informal survey of how people live, are those maintained by older, retired couples.
NEWS
July 30, 2004 | By Judy Harch
My basement has become a living history museum. Pieces of my life story are scattered among dusty boxes, plastic containers, and shelves laden with the fallout of 40 years of accumulated stuff. The exhibits in this museum have moved to three locations during that time. My basement also happens to be an archive for my children's life stories. It slowly evolved into a storehouse for special toys from days gone by, an assortment of outgrown beds, and books ranging from easy readers purchased at school book fairs to outdated college textbooks that my girls just couldn't part with.
LIVING
December 4, 2009 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Question: We live in a home that is more than 50 years old. It has a cement foundation with a finished wallboard basement. We noticed an earthy smell in the basement. We feel that the smell is coming from the high moisture content of the old cement walls behind the wallboard. We have been advised that to fix the problem, the wallboard would have to be torn down and wire mesh would have to be put up on the walls and more cement and then a special paint be applied. The estimated cost for the wire mesh process alone would be roughly $10,000, not including the demolition and refinishing of the basement.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
January 26, 2016 | By Michael Boren, Staff Writer
Brad Kenney opens a door at the Moorestown Community House that reads "Authorized Personnel Only," and immediately comes the smell of smoke, a stark contrast from the hallway and ballroom on the other side that were spared damage during a November fire. Past the door, in a dim kitchen, the vinyl flooring has been pulled to reveal the original hardwood from when the building opened in 1926. In the adjacent club room, a sheet covers a water-damaged Steinway piano - 103 years old - that Kenney is trying to salvage.
REAL_ESTATE
January 25, 2016 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Ernie Wyatt, who is from near Macon, Ga., sends the following question: "I have discovered that water has been standing in a corner of my basement in a crawl space and there is a bit of mildew in the area. "A contractor has informed me that a permanent solution to the problem would be to treat the mildew and then haul in some sand, level the crawl space, and encapsulate the basement, sealing it from the outside. "I have heard, however, that encapsulation can promote dry rot. Would it be wise to leave some of the vents open?"
REAL_ESTATE
December 28, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
I answered an insulation question in this column not too long ago, and Joe Ponessa sent me an email in late November about it. "I don't think you gave enough attention to the issue of combustion [makeup] air," said Ponessa, professor emeritus of housing, indoor environment, and health at Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Ponessa agreed that the limited work I described did not sound as if it would cause a problem for "atmospheric" combustion appliances, which derive their air from the surrounding environment.
NEWS
December 1, 2015 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
A WOMAN dressed in black from top to bottom appeared between a crack in the front door of a Bustleton townhouse, and when she heard her husband's name spoken she placed her hand over her mouth, shuffled backward and sat down on a foyer step, repeating it over and over. "Oh, Grigory. Grigory," Valentina Klokishner said yesterday, tears running down beneath dark sunglasses. "Such a sweet, beautiful man. Everyone loved him, but I loved him the most. " On Black Friday, Grigory Klokishner, 74, and Alex Osadchy, 66, also of Philadelphia, were among seven men tossed into frigid waters near the Manasquan Inlet separating Monmouth and Ocean counties when a large swell capsized their pontoon boat.
REAL_ESTATE
November 22, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
I've been reinsulating some spaces around our house that the very cold winters of recent years have shown are not as tight as they should be. One thing I've been doing - thanks to helpful advice over the years from Hap Haven, the Germantown-based energy expert - is taking this important preliminary step: Closing any gaps before insulating. Use foams and sealants to eliminate any penetration to the outside, such as at the ends of joists at the front and back of the house. Sealing the gaps - you can tuck white or black plastic bags into the cracks (clear ones decompose)
NEWS
November 6, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
IMAGINE BEING locked in a dank, dark basement. Starved. Forced to defecate and urinate in a shared bucket. Beaten. Imagine having your two children, whom you had with a person you cared about, snatched away from you. Imagine being moved from state to state, held captive - all because you are mentally disabled and your captor wants your Social Security benefits. This happened to Tamara Breeden, of Philadelphia. For 10 years. From 2001 to 2011. Yesterday, after her captor, Linda Ann Weston, was sentenced to life in prison plus 80 years, Breeden, 33, happily told reporters: "I'm free!"
NEWS
October 26, 2015 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Columnist
The old bandleader spends most days in his basement now, alone among his memories, his black-and-white photographs. The ones from Palumbo's, the legendary Italian Market restaurant and nightclub that burned down in 1994, and where the bandleader went from a teenage sax player to a man whose name was no longer singular. Where Carmen DiPipi of South Clarion Street became Carmen Dee and His Orchestra. But now the photos are all that's left. The last member of the original lineup died last winter.
NEWS
October 7, 2015 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
The woman who pleaded guilty to enslaving and torturing disabled adults in a Tacony basement now wants to change her plea to not guilty, according to a handwritten motion filed with the court. Linda Weston agreed last month to accept a life term plus 80 years after admitting to all 196 federal counts filed against her, including charges of murder, kidnapping, sex trafficking, hate crimes, forced labor, and benefits fraud. The deal spared her a potential death sentence. Now she has asked the court to change her plea and to hold a competency hearing to evaluate her mental health.
NEWS
September 11, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Linda Weston - the Philadelphia woman charged with enslaving and torturing disabled adults for years in a Tacony basement so she could steal their benefit checks - pleaded guilty Wednesday in a deal that spared her a potential death sentence. Instead, she agreed to accept a life term plus 80 years after admitting to all 196 federal counts filed against her including charges of murder, kidnapping, sex trafficking, hate crimes, forced labor, and benefits fraud. Weston, 55, appeared addled and confused through much of Wednesday's hearing, at one point loudly proclaiming she wanted to enter a "not-guilty plea" before quietly reversing herself.
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