April 1, 2014 |
They don't call it Mud Island for nothing. On Sunday, two days of rain and drizzle had left widening pools and fields of shoe-sucking muck in and around Fort Mifflin on the Delaware River. No one at the fort cared, it seemed. Certainly not the more than 40 volunteers who swarmed the place as the British never did. They were intent on cleaning and polishing and ripping out burned and bedraggled building elements, casting all debris into growing piles of soggy timbers and woebegone insulation.
March 22, 2014 |
For many people, a do-it-yourself renovation is merely the cheapest path toward a more beautiful place to live. But for Percy Bright and Tara Mangini, their house makeover became something more: It was a place to learn on the job, a showcase for their design sensibility, and ultimately, the launchpad for a new career. Today, Bright, 29, and Mangini, 30, run the boutique design-build firm Jersey Ice Cream Co. Back in 2009, though, Bright was a graphic designer - and when it came to buying a house, he wasn't even sure what he was looking for. When he came across the South Philadelphia rowhouse, it had "grandma-style" decor - not exactly the stuff of a dynamic interior-design portfolio.
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 15, 2014 |
THE TEACHERS UNION is calling a decision late last week to reopen North Philadelphia's Thomas Edison High School - which closed for three days after the building sustained water damage when a coil burst in the heating/cooling system - potentially hazardous to its students and staff. For now, students and staff are back in the school while a 45,000-square-foot section covering five floors is still cordoned off, school district spokesman Fernando Gallard said. The district hired a private company to clean up the damaged section, which he said is adjacent to the cafeteria.
January 8, 2014 |
The Philadelphia region prepared Monday for a deep freeze that was poised to deliver life-threatening cold and treacherous commutes. The mercury briefly rose to a practically balmy 60 degrees Monday morning in Philadelphia, then steadily fell throughout the day as the arctic air that has been tormenting the Midwest crept eastward. The forecast low was expected to be 7, and Tuesday's high was to inch up only to 12, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a windchill advisory for 12:01 to 5 a.m. The wind chill could plunge to minus-15.
December 26, 2013 |
Expensive cars in the front. Cheap cars in the back. John Silva's display strategy has worked well in attracting business to his car dealership in Frankford. But on Monday, a major water main broke across the street, sending water gushing into his car lot and other businesses. "It was all my front line," Silva said Tuesday of his BMW and Mercedes vehicles that were destroyed by the quick-moving current. "My crappy cars were in the back, on the hill. Those were fine. " About 23 million gallons of water broke free from a 106-year-old water main at Frankford and Torresdale Avenues, flooding nearby streets and businesses, including a small ice cream shop and a large CVS. The damage was still being assessed Tuesday.
December 13, 2013 |
CENTER CITY The water-main break that flooded part of southwest Center City two summers ago has long been repaired, and the city has committed to paying for the damages. But now, it gets complicated. Water damage to dozens of homes and businesses flooded that night - estimated at $2.8 million based on claims filed so far - is more than five times what the city is statutorily allowed to pay out. And a fight is brewing in court as the claimants, including utility giants Verizon and Peco, fight for the $500,000 pot of city money.
November 11, 2013 |
When Amy Schlein Kaufman steps into Lowell Elementary School in Philadelphia's Olney section, her eyes water, her nose runs, and the sneezing begins. After years of teaching there, she is accustomed to carrying tissues. But with respiratory ailments affecting as many as 10 Lowell teachers, she worries that the century-old building may simply be unhealthy. A former colleague at Lowell, art teacher Joyce Harris, shares that concern. Last school year, Harris, 48, said she felt sick almost every day on the job - something she blames on "black mold" that was found in a storage area next to her basement classroom just as the year ended.
August 24, 2013 |
Cedarbrook Middle School in Cheltenham is scheduled to open two weeks late, on Sept. 16, as crews continue to remove mold from the campus. The mold was discovered in some classrooms and hallways by maintenance crews in July, and remediation efforts are underway for the entire building, the district said in a letter Wednesday to parents, teachers and staff. An independent environmental auditor will have to certify air-quality levels before students and staff will be allowed to return, Superintendent Natalie Thomas said.
August 2, 2013 |
The White Dog Cafe in Wayne, the Main Line location of the well-known restaurant, was heavily damaged Thursday when a two-alarm fire broke out in the kitchen shortly before noon. Firefighters from the surrounding area fought the blaze, which started at 11:45 a.m., amid a heavy downpour, and brought it under control within an hour. The restaurant and offices in the building were evacuated when crews arrived, and no injuries were reported. "Our intent is to make the necessary repairs as quickly as possible and reopen," said Marty Grims, the owner of the restaurant in Radnor Township.