August 7, 2014 |
When you call 911 from a mobile phone but do not know your exact location, a complex array of technologies is supposed to lend a hand, automatically transmitting a good estimate of your position to a dispatcher. But when a 14-year-old Philadelphia boy was drowning June 29 in Ocean City, N.J., an accurate electronic location showed up on dispatchers' screens for only two of the four calls seeking help, according to police data. The two callers pinpointed by the automated system were unsure where they were.
May 13, 2014 |
OF COURSE Tom McCusker believes he has one of the best, if not the best, Mexican eateries this side of the Rio Grande. What he didn't know, however, was that a good number of his Spruce Hill neighbors also agreed. Honest Tom's Taco Shop was named "most favorite site" in that bucolic West Philadelphia neighborhood, according to a just-released retail survey conducted by the Spruce Hill Community Association Business Attraction Committee. "I couldn't be happier about it," McCusker said of the cozy house shop on 44th Street near Spruce.
April 16, 2014 |
The first time I saw Camden's Harrison Avenue landfill, it had been closed for years. It was also on fire. I'd been dispatched by an editor to check on a report that the grass atop the toxic tundra of buried trash was ablaze again. And so it was, on a hot afternoon in the late 1970s. Last week, I returned to Harrison Avenue to tour the $68 million Salvation Army Kroc Center, which is on schedule for an Oct. 4 ribbon-cutting ceremony. The project's cost includes $21 million for 34 acres of site remediation work by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
April 2, 2014 |
ARLINGTON, Texas - When Jimmy Rollins crushed a grand slam that spawned a six-run Phillies lead in the second inning Monday, Larry Bowa thought, "It's over. " The bench coach was not alone. Cliff Lee had made 99 straight starts without allowing more than six earned runs. The lead vanished by the third inning. Lee endured five lackluster innings but still earned the win, and Bowa found beauty in that. "All those games I watched when I was at MLB [Network], he was losing 1-0 or 2-1," Bowa said, "so justice was served today.
February 7, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA More than two years ago, the University of Pennsylvania announced a project to expand the use of portable heart-shocking defibrillators with a new smartphone application. That app is still "a few months" from being ready, according to project director Raina Merchant. But on Thursday, Penn plans to announce a lower-tech approach to promoting automatic external defibrillator (AED) use: a contest to develop "public art" that would call attention to the devices. Or at least some devices.
December 8, 2013 |
There is fairly good statistical evidence that the housing recovery has not been a consistent one. In fact, the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, was a mixed bag regionally, according to economist Kevin Gillen of the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government. It's safe to say that home prices were flat regionwide compared with the spring, Gillen said, and that sales, while flat in Philadelphia, surged in the suburbs. For more than a year, I've been taking the idea of all real estate being local as far as possible, invading communities and neighborhoods in the region's eight counties to take their temperatures.
December 1, 2013 |
Coming soon to a Starbucks in New Jersey: Five guys huddled around a corner table with laptops open, playing poker online? That was a scenario discussed at an Internet gambling conference last month in Philadelphia. "You're going to have an informal clustering of people," Joe Brennan, former chairman of iMEGA, an online-gaming association, predicted at the World Regulatory Briefing. "That's natural social functioning," he said. Does that mean poker players and slots addicts will flood free public WiFi hot spots like Wegmans and Starbucks, now that online gambling is legal in New Jersey?
November 14, 2013 |
DELAWARE COUNTY Two-thirds of calls to Delaware County's 911 center in September made from wireless phones had inaccurate location information, according to data released Tuesday by the Federal Communications Commission. And evidently, the problem is widespread. Close to 170 million wireless 911 calls are made annually in the United States, and last year about 73 million came through with inaccurate information, said Jaime Barnett, executive director of FindMe 911, a group of public-safety professionals.
September 6, 2013 |
After a frenzied six-week renovation, Peppercorn (503 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, 610-964-2588) has opened at Eagle Village Shops in the spot that for 12 years was a Georges Perrier restaurant known as Le Mas Perrier, Le Mas, and georges'. The Main Line building's bones are the same. It's a series of rooms, including a rustic, high-ceilinged bar, a sunny rear garden room, a hushed main dining room, and assorted nooks. Where Le Mas Perrier aspired to the look of a farmhouse in the south of France, Peppercorn has opted for an overall feeling of warmth and luxury.
July 27, 2013 |
Ever since Philadelphia began taking its waterfronts seriously a decade ago, it has dreamed of shores lined with lithe, elegant, Vancouver-style towers. Master plans were assembled, new recreation paths were laid, parks were created. Yet only a few high-rises have materialized, none of them the least bit thin or urbane. That may be about to change. Developer Carl Dranoff is planning a 21-story apartment building on the Schuylkill that has the potential to raise the bar for all waterfront design in Philadelphia.