August 28: Workforce housing | Catto and Rizzo | Liquor price hike

The PA Liquor Control Board is raising liquor prices for the first time in almost 25 years, the Inquirer’s Justin McDaniel reports. The agency contends that the proposed hike will maximize revenue for some 500 items and remain competitive with other states’. Opponents in the alcohol, restaurant, and hospitality industries dispute LCB’s contention, arguing that it would drive consumers to other states. A local economist says that while any hike would “slightly increase the border bleed,…the liquor increases would not be ‘like the soda tax in Philadelphia’ in driving customers away.”

Workforce housing”: with Philly’s rising housing prices, are there still affordable options for all income levels? “What kinds of homes those might be, and where they’ll be built, is an open question,” Philadelphia Magazine’s Sandy Smith writes. Smith looks at Philly’s high building costs, government subsidy options, and alternative mixed-income, mixed-rate projects.

The state DEP is working to expedite the hiring and training of new water inspectors in an effort to meet federal safety standards, WITF’s Katie Meyers. To pay for salaries and training, the department is trying to introduce a fee on public water systems as well as higher costs for permits. The DEP’s funding has been nearly cut in half since 2002.

The Philadelphia Citizen’s Larry Platt has his own modest proposal for the contested Rizzo statue. In response to the city’s public call for ideas, Platt suggests moving the Rizzo statue to “stand alongside” the soon-to-be erected statue of 19th century scholar, activist, community organizer Octavius Catto. The Catto statue, significantly, will be first statue of an individual Black leader installed on public property. This introspective placement, Platt explains, would recognize the city’s ongoing “pursuit of that ever-elusive more perfect union.”

Now on to more concrete news: CityLab explains how this ancient building material, which has been a “byword for ecological carelessness” and associated architecturally with arrogance, laziness, and soulessness, could have a simple and environmentally conscious future.

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