August 28: Elected Official A | Spruce Street Harbor Park extended | Philly construction jobs boom | Meet GroJLart

A federal investigation is getting uncomfortably close to U.S. House Rep. Chaka Fattah. “A longtime aide and political adviser to Fattah (D., Pa.) pleaded guilty Wednesday to concealing the misuse of $622,000 in campaign contributions and federal grant funds, in a case that appears to have led investigators straight to the congressman’s door.”

In light of all the recent development buzz around Chestnut East, and his upcoming Hidden City walking tour, Philadelphia’s anonymous blogger, GroJLart, posted the links to all his writings on this area in one blog post. 

Should there be a regional rail connection between Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley cities? It’s the fastest growing metro in the state, the Doylestown line stops about 30 miles away from Allentown. There’s an interesting discussion in Lehigh Valley politics right now about forming a multi-municipal railway authority to work on reestablishing rail connections between the LV, Philly, and New York City. A one-seat ride to NYC was contingent on the ARC tunnel between NJ and NY being built, so for the moment Philadelphia looks like a (relatively) more practical choice. 

Spruce Street Harbor Park will stay open for another month until September 28th, due to popular demand.

Fascinating article in Governing on the “second wave” of government and civic tech innovation, and the best practices for partnerships and collaboration between government and civic hacking groups like Code for America.

Emma Jacobs reports Philadelphia had the third fastest growth rate in construction jobs nationally last quarter – the fastest at any point since 2008, which was a pretty decent year for construction. Housing starts didn’t really start tanking until mid-2008, and many of those projects were under construction through mid-2009. This is significant because housing construction rebounds usually lead us out of recessions, and there’s a case that Philly has a ways to go before all this new apartment construction overshoots demand.

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