April 1, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA When the city cut a deal in 2012 for a holding company, Kenpor L.P., to take and rehab about 100 properties in Kensington and Port Richmond that had been in foreclosure after Robert Coyle, convicted of fraud, defaulted on $10 million in mortgages in 2009, Sandy Saltzman was skeptical. "We really were worried about the fact that these properties were in such poor condition that they were not going to be able to be taken care of in the way they needed to be," said Saltzman, executive director of the New Kensington Community Development Corp.
February 28, 2014 |
In Port Richmond, residents are exposed to air pollution from oceangoing vessels, factories, and heavy traffic along I-95. In Overbrook, toxic chemicals in area waterways and water quality overall are issues. Many in Philadelphia's Hispanic neighborhoods don't realize the danger of lead contamination from older, deteriorating buildings. All three are the target of environmental-justice funding from the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection, whose deputy administrator, Bob Perciasepe, traveled to Philadelphia on Wednesday to highlight the grants.
February 22, 2014 |
Eugene Nowakowski and his wife spent the night at a Red Cross shelter following a water-main break Wednesday that flooded the basement of his Port Richmond home and left him without water or heat. As he prepared to spend a second night at the Red Cross House in West Philadelphia, what pained him most was the water damage to his custom-made Ken Smith bass guitar. "You can't buy it anywhere. It was made just for me," an angry Nowakowski said Thursday night. The water-main break Wednesday afternoon flooded the basement of at least a dozen homes in the 3000 block of Livingston Street, where the 55-year-old Nowakowski has lived for two decades.
January 24, 2014
L UIS TORRADO, 46, of Old City, owns Torrado Construction Co., a general contractor in Port Richmond. Torrado worked as a subcontractor on three local projects for a Texas-based construction-management firm that manages Barnes & Noble College Bookstores' construction accounts. Torrado, a North Philadelphia native, started the firm in 1996. Q: How did you come up with the idea for the biz? A: While I was a student at Community College of Philadelphia, I got a part-time job with an electrical contractor in Center City who was working on Liberty Place I. Later, I worked for a contractor who [mentored]
January 18, 2014 |
Over the years, firefighters have been called many times to Richmond Street just under I-95 in Port Richmond. There, where four rail lines cross the roadway, lurks a long-haul trucker's nightmare - a set of trestles with low clearances and a tendency to rip the tops off taller trailers. The solution, more often than not, has been to flatten the rig's tires and gradually ease out the trapped trailer. All that is going to end, officials said Thursday, but Richmond Street will be closed between Lehigh Avenue and Cambria Street beginning Thursday for about two years to make it happen.
January 16, 2014 |
SAYING THAT HIS theft of nearly $50,000 from City Councilman Bobby Henon's campaign fund was "egregious," ex-consultant Richard North III pleaded guilty yesterday. North, 24, whose career was upended by a gambling addiction, pleaded guilty to one felony count and two misdemeanor counts of theft before Common Pleas Judge Donna Woelpper. She sentenced North to three years of probation and ordered him to stay out of gambling establishments and pay restitution of more than $62,600 to Henon and to two roommates North stole from to feed his habit at the city's SugarHouse Casino.
December 6, 2013 |
For a group of young, culturally diverse artists, the epiphany came two years ago. Sharing a workspace in the emerging creative haven of Port Richmond, the five decided pooling their talents and opportunities would pay off faster than individual struggle. Amber Art & Design was born, and already the public-art collective has left an impressive imprint, including the Roots mural honoring the Philly hip-hop neo-soul ensemble presented over the summer at Broad and South Streets.
November 22, 2013 |
IS CITY COUNCIL putting NIMBYism on steroids to stop methadone clinics from popping up in the Northeast? Critics of a bill, which is expected to be approved today, say it's a case of the Not In My Back Yard attitude gone awry. But for Councilmen Bobby Henon and Brian O'Neill, who are backing the bill, it's a way to give their constituents a voice. The measure would require all new medical and dental offices in their districts to get a zoning variance, rather than opening "by right," in city-planning parlance.
September 30, 2013 |
A neighborhood once known for residential flight is becoming a hot spot for home buyers attracted by move-in-ready homes and affordable prices. Newlyweds Mallory Fix and Juan Lopez considered single-family homes and duplexes in various Philadelphia neighborhoods before spending $320,000 for a 2,352-square-foot rowhouse in the 1300 block of South 15th Street in Point Breeze. "Location was a pull for me, rather than a deterrent," Fix said. The couple, who had a budget of $350,000, looked at homes in Port Richmond, Passyunk Square, and Pennsport before closing on the three-story, red-brick house in June.
September 1, 2013 |
THE STREETS of Port Richmond were empty and still as Barbara Zimath trudged along in the predawn darkness. She'd made the same trek countless times for much of the last 12 years, a path that led from her rowhouse to the Route 15 bus stop at Richmond Street and Lehigh Avenue, on her way to work at a nearby Wawa. She was on the phone just before 6 a.m. Wednesday with her husband, Dave. She'd never run into trouble before, but hearing his voice was reassuring. You know, just in case.