March 20, 2015 |
CITY COUNCILMAN Kenyatta Johnson wants the Bellevue garage at Broad and Locust streets removed from a bill that would create special zoning for six-story, full-motion 3-D digital advertising structures called urban experiential displays. "When this legislation was first proposed, I was open to the idea because the businesses on the Avenue of the Arts supported it as a way to fund improvements and activities on the avenue," the 2nd District councilman told the Daily News in a statement yesterday.
March 19, 2015 |
Democratic mayoral candidate Nelson A. Diaz is staking his campaign on city schools. Abolish the School Reform Commission, Diaz says. Establish a local school board and universal prekindergarten. Connect needy students with social services. "I want to be responsible for the school system," Diaz said in an interview Tuesday with the Inquirer Editorial Board. Diaz fleshed out his ideas with a new education policy paper that described a plan for raising an additional $215 million for the Philadelphia School District short-term, and up to $500 million long term.
March 16, 2015 |
The hundreds of people crawling Center City bars this weekend in green shirts and shamrock hats probably had no idea there was a real Irish dignitary in their midst - Deputy Prime Minister Joan Burton. Burton, who is also the leader of the Labour Party and the Minister for Social Protection, is on a whirlwind St. Patrick's weekend tour of Philadelphia, Boston and Pittsburgh to promote continued economic ties between the United States and Ireland. On Saturday afternoon, she addressed about 200 leaders of the local Irish community at a reception in Center City.
March 14, 2015 |
Two hours behind schedule, Beth Heinly finally located a working electrical outlet in the echoing cavern of the Broad Street concourse and settled in, wearing a puffy chef's hat, to cook pasta. The mac-and-cheese giveaway was Heinly's take on site-specific performance art - meant to engage a space that mostly lies vacant, except for occasional skateboarders, scuttling rainy-day commuters, and covert smokers of marijuana. "I wanted to do a really loving thing in a scary place," she said.
March 13, 2015 |
Mexican on the corner If early crowds are an indication, Joseph and Theresa Rimmer Scull have hit on the right combination at 22d and Carpenter Streets with a Mexican bar called Los Camaradas (918 S. 22d St., 215-309-3727). After a spell as Divan Turkish Kitchen, the bar had been two short-lived clunkers, SoWe and the Strip Joint, under different management. The Sculls - he was chef at the late Solaris Grille in Chestnut Hill, while she is a former beverage manager at La Calaca Feliz in Fairmount - added sconces and other decorative pieces from Mexico.
March 12, 2015 |
THANK GOD for the Philadelphia Film Society! On Monday, it officially announced the acquisition of the historic Prince Music Theater, on Chestnut Street near Broad. The beloved theater had been shuttered since October, when the theatrical organization that occupied the building - the American Music Theater Festival - failed to find new leadership after its board chairman died. Prince reps tell me that the beleaguered theater had been in a constant state of bankruptcy but was being floated by its board chairman.
March 11, 2015 |
THE MUMMERS Parade broke with tradition and marched the "wrong way" on Broad Street on New Year's Day. The (remaining) fans seemed to like it. The crowds were somewhat larger in Center City (which is what happens when you contract the parade route). As a veteran parade watcher and reviewer, I liked it, even knowing the reversal of direction was born out of necessity. Doing everything the "old" way was turning into a funeral procession for this Philadelphia tradition, one that should be embraced.
March 11, 2015 |
If shopping malls are really dying - killed by retail apps, next-day delivery, and those giant "fulfillment centers" rising across Pennsylvania - you wouldn't know it. Not the way big investors like Simon Property Group are buying and selling rival shopping malls. On Monday, Simon - the Indianapolis company that owns one of the largest malls in the United States ( King of Prussia ) and the biggest in Philadelphia ( Philadelphia Mills , the former Franklin Mills) - offered $22 billion, or $91 a share, for national mall chain Macerich Co. , of Santa Monica, Calif.
March 9, 2015 |
People cheered the man who was 50 years sober, but they stood and screamed wildly for the guy who hadn't had a drink in a day. "That's for you, Mr. One Day," someone yelled at the stunned young man who stood before a group of about 1,500 members of Alcoholics Anonymous gathered at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul on Saturday. They were there to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the AA's Philadelphia branch. But, more than a few attendees acknowledged, what people were really celebrating was their still being on the planet after the pain and wreckage the bottle had delivered.
March 8, 2015 |
Following the 2013 Center City building collapse that killed six people and injured 13, committees tasked by City Council and the Nutter administration to look into how to reform the Department of Licenses and Inspections concluded that the regulatory agency was underfunded. The department is budgeted at $28.8 million and 353 positions, 20 of which are unfilled. On Thursday, Mayor Nutter responded by calling for an extra $10.8 million for L&I, spread over three years. The first $5.5 million, to be allocated in 2016, would go toward hiring 43 employees, most of them building inspectors, and for new technology.