July 11: Asbestos in collapsed building’s debris | Developer threatens opponents with lawsuit | Conrail bridge collapse hearing | PATCO project 47 percent more expensive | Drilling controversy in Delaware River | Tech company moves to East Falls | Photos

Good morning Eyes on the Street! Here’s what people are buzzing about today.

In the latest development around the June 5 building collapse at 22nd and Market, contractors have found remnants of asbestos in the debris of the fatal building collapse. The discovery raises questions about paperwork filed by the building owners to receive demolition permits. 

A second opponent of a project proposed by developer Ori Feibush has reported that he was threatened with a  lawsuit before he was to speak out in opposition at a zoning hearing, the Daily News reports. This comes after a Spring Garden resident received a similar letter early this year. The first letter threatened the opponent with a lawsuit just a week before a scheduled Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing. 

The Delaware River Port Authority is one step closer to rebuilding the PATCO commuter train line over the Ben Franklin Bridge, but the project is already 47 percent more expensive than expected, reports the Inquirer. DRPA board committees approved the $102.8 million project Wednesday, and the full board is expected to approve it next week. Construction could begin in August. 

This week’s two-day hearing on the Conrail train derailment in Paulsboro that happened last November revealed that the Conrail bridge that collapsed had 24 reported incidents in the year preceding the accident, and half of those were reported in the month leading up to the train derailment. The hearing also highlighted the shortcomings of volunteer fire and rescue squads. Of the 30,000 fire departments in the United States, 70 percent are local fire companies comprised of volunteers. 

The fight over natural gas drilling in the Delaware River is heating up. The Delaware River Basin Commission, which instituted a moratorium on natural gas development in the basin three years ago, has recently received six letters from proponents and opponents of natural gas drilling. Governor Corbett was one of the six letter writers. He supports natural gas drilling in the river. Opponents charge that Corbett’s “weakened” oversight of the gas industry has led to inadequate regulation. 

BuLogics, a successful wireless software engineering firm, has moved its headquarters from Malvern, Pa. to the intersection of Ridge and Midvale avenues in East Falls. The company, a startup founded in 2003, said the move was made necessary by plans to grow and the appeal of Philadelphia’s technology-related talent. BuLogics has completed numerous national projects as well as local projects including the installation of energy control systems at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and the Inn at Penn.  

When the Philadelphia School District announced plans to close 23 schools, local artist Zoe Strauss put out a call to photographers to document the last days of the institutions. Over 160 citizens joined forces to capture the 23 closing schools’ last days, and this week Generocity shared some of the photos they snapped. The series captured everything from classroom lessons to empty gymnasiums, kindergarten bump up days and students painting handprints on a mural – making one final mark on their former school.

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