January 24: Democrats offer infrastructure proposal | Not a Spot | Temple library

 The Nor’easter winds were vicious yesterday. In the morning, winds ripped off a chunk of a mural at Broad and Race Streets, damaging two cars. In Delaware, the Delaware Department of Transportation announced several road closures due to downed power lines, fallen trees and high water across the state. Over in New Jersey, several roads flooded and winds were gusting up to 60 mph in some areas. The Northeast Corridor was closed for part of the day and public transit faced delays from equipment problems and downed wires.

Commuters and distribution centers are also facing limited options with the closure of the Delaware River Bridge, after a fracture was discovered Friday in a steel beam. Holes drilled during construction and filled with plug welds appear to be the culprit, though authorities will need at least two weeks to figure out what repairs are needed to stabilize and repair the bridge, reported Jason Laughlin. Engineers will also need to determine if there is a systemic problem or isolated issue.

At the federal level, lawmakers in both parties want to address repairing and maintaining American infrastructure. While the president is pushing for incentives for private investors, Senate Democrats are proposing spending $1 trillion on infrastructure projects over 10 years in an attempt to engage the new administration. Republicans are pushing back saying they don’t want another infrastructure plan that is effectively another economic stimulus program.

When drivers park illegally, it is irritating and can be dangerous for everyone else (pedestrians, stroller-pushers, people in wheelchairs, cyclists). Writing for Billy Penn, Jared Brey reports South Philly photographer Julia Rowe is web-shaming these parking violations with the “Not A Spot” campaign, blasting illegal but under-enforced behaviors on Twitter and Instagram.

The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations released a report Monday that found that LGBTQ people of color, women and transgender people feel vulnerable to discrimination, harassment and physical violence in the Gayborhood. The report recommends that bar owners and staff and members of nonprofits serving the LGBTQ community receive training on the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance and also encourages hiring practices that reflect the diversity of the city’s LGBTQ population and create paths for advancement.

Council President Darrell Clarke had an Inquirer op-ed on the Philadelphia Land Bank, calling out lingering impediments and demanding that the City adheres to policies and procedures that enable the land Bank to help shape balanced neighborhood development. Clarke plans to introduce to a resolution calling for “a moratorium on lien and sheriff sales of vacant, tax-delinquent land and a review of Revenue Department and Office of Property Assessment procedures, including inconsistencies in their data.”

Joe Lucia, the dean of libraries at Temple, hopes to wow both the academic and architectural communities with Temple’s $170 million library project, slated to be completed Oct. 29, 2018. Jerry Leva, VP of Capital Projects told Temple News that small structural changes will help the project stay on budget and adhere to the new library’s designs, which include an open green space, public interactive technology, and active space to encourage social learning.

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