June 6, 2014
WHEN people get old, accidents and ailments become riskier. A cold can turn to pneumonia. A broken hip can lead to an early demise. It's not pretty, but with proper care the indignities of aging don't have to be lethal. When cities get old, the risks and dangers also increase. Aging pipes and gas mains, crumbling buildings and buckled roads can all take their toll on a city's health - and the safety of its citizens. Ours is certainly not the only old city coping with age, but, as the city marks the year anniversary of one building disaster, it's time to assess how prepared we are. The collapse at 22nd and Market streets was clearly not a simple case of an old building collapsing with age, but a bad mix of a derelict property owner, a demolition crew whose questionable work on the site has led to criminal charges including third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, and a city that often operates like an antique machine.
June 6, 2014 |
THE BUILDING collapse on Market Street shook the city to its core, prompting a host of reforms and investigations. It also ended the lives of six people - and played a role in the death of a seventh - and left their families forever heartbroken. One year later, the Daily News looks back on those lost on that bright June day. Borbor Davis A Styrofoam heart adorned with plastic flowers is Salvation Army worker Borbor Davis' only tombstone. His widow, Maggie, can't afford a real headstone.
June 5, 2014 |
THE TWO MEN facing a murder trial in last June's Market Street building collapse that killed six people lost another round in court yesterday after a judge rejected their requests to throw out conspiracy charges. Following a brief motions hearing, Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner ruled that city prosecutors had presented enough evidence during a Feb. 18 preliminary hearing to sustain the conspiracy charges. A trial date has not yet been set for Sean Benschop, 43, and Griffin Campbell, 50, who are being held without bail.
June 2, 2014 |
For months, Nancy Winkler and Jay Bryan went out of their way not to pass by 22d and Market Streets. They lived only three blocks away, so it wasn't easy. But avoiding that corner forever would be almost impossible. When the couple did finally find themselves there in April, what they saw only deepened the sadness in their lives - a barren lot, long and narrow, strewn front to back with accumulated garbage. "It was depressing to see that people were trashing it," Bryan said.
May 24, 2014 |
SEPTA will spend about 3 percent more for transit operations in the fiscal year that begins July 1, and it will nearly double its spending on major construction and repair projects, thanks to an infusion of state money. The SEPTA board unanimously approved a $1.33 billion operating budget and a $572 million capital budget Thursday, without discussion. The operating budget, which includes no fare increases, provides money for a pilot program to resume 24-hour-a-day subway service on weekends, beginning this summer.
May 23, 2014 |
ARE PHILADELPHIA'S demolition procedures significantly safer today than before the June building collapse at 22nd and Market streets that killed six people inside a Salvation Army thrift shop? The Department of Licenses & Inspections says yes. But City Controller Alan Butkovitz says L&I records are such a mess that it's difficult to know. Yesterday, Butkovitz released a blistering audit that alleged a "culture of informality" within L&I, which he said kept shoddy records and waived demolition-inspection requirements without explanation.
May 20, 2014 |
Have a complaint about L&I? A new website wants to hear from you. The Special Independent Advisory Commission, which is studying the way the city Department of Licenses and Inspections does business, seeks information from the public as it prepares a comprehensive report. Mayor Nutter appointed 17 people to the commission in October at the urging of city treasurer Nancy Winkler, whose daughter Anne Bryan was killed in the Salvation Army thrift shop at 22d and Market Streets on June 5, when the building next door collapsed on it during demolition.
May 17, 2014 |
The investors backing East Market, a proposed $500 million redevelopment of Market, Ludlow, and Chestnut Streets between 11th and 12th Streets in Center City, have sketched out the first stage of development: two floors of stores topped by 322 apartments rising to 17 stories. "We're going to create this great place that connects all these neighborhoods - the Convention Center and the hotels to Midtown Village, and City Hall and the office towers to the historic district," said Daniel Killinger, who heads the development arm of Washington-based National Real Estate Advisors, East Market's union-backed lead investor.
May 17, 2014 |
Ending decades of divided control of the subterranean realm beneath Center City, SEPTA soon will be in charge of cleaning, maintaining, and repairing almost everything under the streets. That should mean improved cleanliness, lighting, and safety as SEPTA uses new state funding to upgrade the long-neglected passageways, agency officials said Thursday. A new 30-year lease with the city gives SEPTA responsibility for the 3.5 miles of city-owned concourses along Market Street from Eighth to 18th Streets and south to the Walnut-Locust subway station, as well as the elevators and escalators that serve the Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines.
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.