February 24, 2016
THEY ARE DIRTY, eyesores, a magnet for crime and vermin - and the city is going to do something about them. They are called donation bins or collection bins or charity boxes, and they are scattered around the city, from the worst neighborhoods to the best. Tuesday at noon, standing beside one of the monstrosities at 4100 Germantown Ave., Licenses and Inspection Commissioner David Perri will announce a crackdown on them. The newly appointed Perri shared with me a list of 70 offenders that are the subjects of a roundup and will be dispatched to that Great Recycling Bin in the sky. (OK, really a scrap yard.)
December 15, 2015 |
Who will speak for the trees? The question explored decades ago by Dr. Seuss is now being debated in a woodsy South Jersey town where a 43-year-old Shade Tree Commission faces the ax. On Tuesday, the Southampton Township Committee is expected to abolish the commission, saying the group of volunteers has too much power and has become too aggressive. The vote comes at a time when the commission is surveying thousands of trees in the 43-square-mile community and is devising a strategy to deal with a dreaded beetle that threatens to wipe out ash trees in the area.
April 17, 2015 |
TRENTON - ExxonMobil Corp.'s chief lawyer on Wednesday defended the firm's tentative $225 million settlement with New Jersey in a pollution case, saying the $8.9 billion the state sought at trial last year was "devoid of any scientific or economic legitimacy. " New Jersey Democrats and environmentalists have attacked the Christie administration's proposed settlement as a sellout to polluters. Two state senators have vowed to try to block it in court. But ExxonMobil general counsel Jack Balagia said Wednesday that the state's initial $8.9 billion claim was based on a faulty report.
September 4, 2014 |
FOR SOME FOLKS, the wind's howl in the night makes them grateful to be safe under cozy covers. Joe and Janet Witkowski are not among these people. In their home - a sweet little rowhouse on Rhett Road in the Northeast - the roar of wind chases them out of their bedroom, in the rear of the house, and into the living room, up front. That's because their property backs up to the forested Walton's Run section of Pennypack Park. The Witkowskis fear that a gigantic limb from one of its ancient sassafras or maple trees will crack through their roof, crushing them in their bed. Branches have plummeted before; Hurricane Sandy blew a heavy limb on top of their backyard fence.
January 28, 2014 |
James Dupree says city officials are trying to pave paradise and put up a supermarket. Dupree, a renowned Philadelphia artist, is embroiled in a bitter back-and-forth with the city over the fate of his art studio, an 8,600-square-foot building that takes up nearly a block along Haverford Avenue in the Mantua section of West Philadelphia. The property was seized in December 2012 by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. The authority condemned a two-block stretch through eminent domain, a legal process that allows government to take private property, pay the owner, and develop the land for public use. When the authority seized the Mantua property, it said the surrounding neighborhood was in desperate need of a supermarket.
September 25, 2013
Hold the questions There must have been an intensive training program for local waitstaff that included a mandate to ask diners the question, "Is everything all right?" This questioning is probably proper, but I suggest that I should not always be quizzed only a moment after putting a morsel of food into my mouth. At that point, all I am able to do is nod my head - even though the broccoli may be cold and the mashed potatoes lumpy. Another possible training item is that, after requesting another cup of coffee, I more often than not hear a response of "No problem!"
September 2, 2013 |
It's not unusual to hear gunshots on the tree-lined street in an otherwise tranquil neighborhood of southern Chester County near the Delaware border. Up and down South Fairville Road in Kennett Township, more than a few residents regularly practice target shooting in their backyards. At a large farm down the road, there's a couple who even fire off cannons on occasion. But some residents began hearing gunshots at night and worried about stray bullets that could hit houses in the area, so Kennett Township supervisors are poised to vote on an ordinance this week that would restrict when and where residents can fire guns on their properties.
June 21, 2013 |
TOP NUTTER administration officials told City Council yesterday at the first public hearing on the Center City building collapse that the city isn't responsible for the work done by contractors on private property. Council members on the Special Investigatory Committee raised an array of concerns, including the minimal requirements needed to get a demolition permit; the lack of urgency that followed the citizen's complaint; and the ever-changing mix of contractors, subcontractors and day workers found on job sites, despite permits that name only a developer or "expediter," an industry term for someone who pushes through the work and approvals.
May 26, 2013 |
A Common Pleas Court judge has blocked a religious group from holding loud, racially charged demonstrations in front of the entrance to One Liberty Place at 16th and Chestnut Streets. Judge Ellen Ceisler, in a ruling issued Thursday, barred gatherings by a group that the owners of One Liberty Place said spewed hatred toward whites, women, and gays. They said the demonstrations disrupted the peace, disturbed passersby, and interferred with business at nearby shops. The group, which calls itself the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge, gathered weekly, bullhorns in hand, and chanted offensive rants, according to a suit filed by the owners of One Liberty Place.