February 14: Open data tension | PHL: Here for the Making | Supermarkets don’t change behavior | Lower North transportation recommendations | TreePhilly giveaway | Building collapse court case update

Happy Valentine’s Day, Streeters! The city may be snowed in for yet another day, but we’ll still be tweeting about why we love Philadelphia as part of the #whyilovephilly campaign today. Follow @EOTSPhilly, where we’ll be sharing our own love notes as well as our Twitter connections’ reasons to love the City of Brotherly Love. 

There seems to be tension over open data in Philly, Patrick Kerkstra reports on AxisPhilly. The Nutter Administration has released 68 data sets since the open data initiative began two years ago, but much of that data was the “low hanging fruit.” “Now we’re getting to a point where this stuff is harder and more complicated,” city Managing Director Richard Negrin said. At the center of the tension is the city’s property assessment records and the property tax balances owed on those properties. 

The city’s new marketing campaign, PHL: Here for the Making, launched yesterday, and Technically Philly asks, is there staying power? The effort is a joint marketing effort with support from the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Select Greater Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

A new study finds that simply building a supermarket in a food desert does not necessarily alter behavior. In the case of the Fresh Grocer built on North Broad Street in 2009, shoppers haven’t been eating any more produce, and their body-mass index hasn’t declined, the study found. State Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Phila.) and Temple University researcher say this study should not be read as a definitive judgment and that behavioral changes like this take time. 

Planeto, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) blog, shines a spotlight on transportation recommendations in the Lower North district. The first suggestions is “to inject a bit more sanity” into streets that change direction multiple times – like 30th Street, which changes direction four times in nearly two-miles. PCPC also recommends improving SEPTA bus and Route 15 trolley service. 

TreePhilly’s seasonal tree give away begins today, and they kicked things off with a creative campaign in Rittenhouse Square. If you stroll through the park, you’ll notice tree- and love-themed posters with slogans like “I’m nuts about you,” and “Let’s make arborly love,” hanging in the trees. Since 2008, the Department of Parks and Recreation program has given away more than 100,000 trees to private residents. 

Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Bernstein denied a bid by defense attorneys in the Center City building collapse case. Bernstein shot down defense attorneys’ request to limit pretrial disclosure of depositions, documents and other discovery material in civil cases. 

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.
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