April 24, 2015 |
Looking for ways to save money, SEPTA has paid about $2.8 million to a Boston-based consulting firm, including payments of more than $500 an hour to some specialists. In the process, FTI Consulting Inc. has used 24 of its staffers, some of whom have collected more from SEPTA than the transit agency's highest-paid official, general manager Joseph Casey, who makes $273,000 a year. The meter is still running, with additional payments expected to continue through the end of the year.
April 23, 2015 |
THE MAN DUBBED the "Mayfair Tire Slasher" pleaded guilty yesterday to causing trouble in his new neighborhood of Oxford Circle, where he and his wife moved. David Toledo, 47, a high-school dropout and former butcher, admitted placing a glue mousetrap with nails under a tire of a SEPTA employee's private car, in an attempt to puncture it, on Creston Street on the morning of Nov. 19. Assistant District Attorney Lauren McHale told Common Pleas Judge Edward Wright that a couple of days later, when Toledo gave police a statement, he first denied his involvement in the crime, then finally admitted it. He said "he did it to get another neighbor in trouble," she said.
April 23, 2015 |
David Toledo's Mayfair neighbors fumed last May when a Philadelphia judge gave two years' probation to the man found by a jury to be the "Mayfair Tire Slasher. " After Tuesday's hearing, in which Toledo pleaded guilty to trying to flatten the tire of a SEPTA bus, he faced prison time. Prosecutors say the 47-year-old may also be the vandal who damaged other tires around the 1600 block of Creston Street in Oxford Circle. "He said he would toss screws and nails around while he was walking his dog," Assistant District Attorney Lauren McHale said, describing Toledo's statement to police after his Nov. 21 arrest, two days after the SEPTA incident.
April 22, 2015 |
IT WAS EIGHT years ago this month that the Daily News branded 52nd and Market streets one of the city's most dangerous corners. "Death Row" screamed the front-page headline - one part tabloid hyperbole, one part depressing summation of the crime, blight and poverty that had choked the life out of the once-proud business and entertainment strip. Drug deals went down casually in broad daylight. Businesses collapsed, one after another, as a lengthy rebuild of SEPTA's Market-Frankford El turned the streets and sidewalks into a maze of construction equipment and debris.
April 19, 2015 |
One of my sons, who rides SEPTA 's Subway- Surface Lines to work, wanted to know: "Why do all the trolleys have their own WiFi networks," each of them password-protected, and tantalizingly visible to connection-starved users as they stare at their mobile- network availability screens? He asked the operator, who hadn't a clue. "If they at least told the drivers the network passwords, they could maybe get some use out of them," my son said. "Why are the networks there? Why aren't they used?
April 18, 2015 |
SEPTA is set to award a $16.1-million contract to a Bucks County firm to rebuild three century-old rail bridges on the busy Media-Elwyn line. A SEPTA board committee on Thursday reviewed and sent to the full board the contract with Neshaminy Constructors Inc., of Feasterville, for the two-year-long project to rebuild viaducts over Cobbs, Ridley and Darby Creeks in Delaware County. If the contract is approved by the full board next week, construction will start in June and will require the use of shuttle buses on some weekends to replace train service, said assistant general manager Robert Lund.
April 16, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Speed-enforcement cameras and alcohol-triggered ignition locks are getting serious consideration in the Pennsylvania legislature, and inaction by Congress threatens statewide highway projects, state transportation officials said Tuesday. Acting Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards and Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Transportation Committee told business and transit executives that Washington gridlock could undermine funding boosts approved by state lawmakers in 2013.
April 14, 2015 |
FAR BE IT from me to suggest that elected officials sometimes act in their own interests. But it's hard to look at Dwight Evans these days and not think he's feathering his own nest. Long out of the catbird seat after years in the catbird seat, Evans seems poised to perch again. Last week, he endorsed Jim Kenney for mayor and, along with other Northwest Philly Democratic bigs, thereby invited a critical chunk of African-American votes to back Kenney's candidacy. This is significant because, if history's a guide, most of those votes likely would line up for the leading African-American in the race, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams.
April 6, 2015 |
IN A SHOW of solidarity, interdenominational clergy and elected officials gathered yesterday at the Masjidullah Mosque in East Mount Airy to denounce the anti-Muslim advertisements that have stirred controversy since a federal judge last month ordered SEPTA to run them on buses. "Communities need to stand together . . . when these ads on the bus happen, we are all diminished," said Nancy Kreimer, with the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote. "Every one of us who is a citizen of this city is diminished by having hate ride on our buses.
April 3, 2015 |
SARAH-ASHLEY Andrews spread peace yesterday in the form of water bottles and Tastykake Krimpets. She, along with about a dozen volunteers, staged a "takeover" of the corner of 15th and Market streets, handing out the complimentary refreshments to passers-by as they ducked into the nearby SEPTA concourse. "We want to promote peace, to show these people positive role models," said Andrews, the founder of Dare 2 Hope, a grass-roots organization that promotes suicide prevention and awareness.