Following lobbyist money online | Five vulnerable industrial buildings | Who will build Casino #2? | Council’s softball challenge | ZBA’s new rules

It has just gotten a bit easier to follow lobbyist spending in Philly. NewsWorks reports that Casey Thomas teamed up with the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network to build a searchable, online database of lobbyist spending. Thomas manually entered information from lobbyist expense reports and beat the city to completing their own lobbyist reporting website.

Philadelphia’s vacant, historic industrial buildings keep going up in smoke, and we keep losing out on the possibility to reuse these heritage assets to build new futures in our neighborhoods. In response to this seemingly-endless cycle, Hidden City Daily picks out five sets of especially vulnerable mill buildings that are poorly secured and are at greater risk of fire, particularly due to construction methods like wood framing. Their picks: Van Stratten and Harvey, and Arguto Oilless Bearing Co. at Wayne Junction; Steel Heddle, Town Locke and Freihoffer in Allegheny West; Sykes & Geiger in Frankford; Scholler Brothers in Port Richmond; and Edwin J. Schoettle/Independence Press on Spring Garden Street.

Who’s looking into casino licenses in Philly? We have heard about Bart Blatstein’s intentions for the Inquirer Building, and now NewsWorks adds that The Peebles Corporation likes the idea of building a casino in Old City, Northern Liberties, or along the Delaware waterfront; Parkway Corporation is also interested in that license but hasn’t discussed their location options. Casino license applications will be accepted until November, barring changes from the legislature.

City Council has challenged the Nutter administration to a softball throwdown. Majority Leader Curtis Jones, Jr. offered the challenge in verse.

PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports that the Zoning Board of Adjustment has drafted new rules and regulations for itself, most of which aim to align the ZBA process with the new zoning code, but there are other new provisions too. Among these: ZBA would now have to keep a written record of its decisions and the grounds for a rehearing would be new evidence or an error due to fraud or a “non-negligent mistake.” ZBA will likely hold a hearing on the proposed rules/regulations next month.

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