June 11: Church of the Atonement demolition nigh | SEPTA regional rail strike likely | Tidier Newbold commercial corridors | 76ers to Camden | Give $55 million to scools

Hey there Streeters. Here’s what we’re reading this morning:

Demolition crews could begin wrecking a Furness-designed church at 47th Street and Kingsessing Avenue imminently. Hidden City Daily notes that the building, originally Church of the Atonement, was designed by Furness, Evans and Co. and completed in 1900. Click through this photo essay from last year to see the church’s interior.

Friday a federal mediator will try to help SEPTA and its regional rail engineers and electrical workers come to an agreement and avoid a strike, the Inquirer reports. Should that fail 400 two unions representing the regional rail engineers and electrical workers could strike at 12:01am on Saturday. The Inquirer explains that a strike threat is prompted “a long-running dispute over the value of an increase in transit workers’ pension benefits and the railroad unions’ request for retroactive wage increases to the date their contracts expired.” Other SEPTA employees have accepted the terms.

West Passyunk and Snyder avenues are being tidied up by Newbold CDC’s cleaning program. The Daily News reports that five workers sweep up litter four times a week on both streets. The cost: $1000 per month. “Six months ago every block was full of trash and it didn’t feel safe,” said Newbold CDC’s Tim Lidiak. “Now, [the area] is almost litter-free.

The Philadelphia 76ers were offered one of the most generous development grants in New Jersey history to build a practice facility in Camden. The Inquirer reports that the Sixers will get up to $82 million to build a new facility near the Susquehanna Bank Center. But will it catalyze other investment in Camden? 

The Daily News editorializes that City Council should give the School District the $55 million it’s due from a state sales tax increase, instead of cutting that back to $20 million in order to siphon off money for the anemic pension fund. “The district desperately needs every dime it can get. It is facing a deficit of $216 million and will have to begin another savage round of layoffs and cutbacks unless more money is forthcoming between now and June 30.” Who’s to blame? The Daily News puts that squarely on City Council and its leader Darrell Clarke for reasons both simple and complicated.

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