Welcome to the working week, Streeters. Here’s what’s making news this Monday morning:
Germantown’s Maplewood Mall will see a $2.2 million renovation NewsWorks reports, and the Daily News looks at the first step in getting the public to see this space anew: a block party this Saturday evening.
What if Philadelphia can’t find more money to soften the effects of the bare-bones budget passed by the Philadelphia School District last month? The New York Times takes a look at what school could be like without the 3,783 employees to be let go– aides, assistant principals, librarians, nurses, counselors among them. “Do we just want a building that houses children until they get to the new prison they’re building?” asked Lisa Ciaranca Kaplan, principal of Andrew Jackson School.
Councilman Wilson Goode has proposed limiting capping the value of the 10-year real estate tax abatement. But a counter-proposal has been put forward by the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors to expand the tax abatement to 25 years in order to stimulate development in neighborhoods where home values are $125,000 or less, reports the Philadelphia Real Estate Blog.
There are still more details being revealed about the fatal building collapse at 22nd and Market on June 5:
- The Inquirer recounts the experience of first responders to the building collapse at 22nd and Market: tales of firefighters rescuing people from the Salvation Army basement, a search dog named Phoenix who helped officials find victims, an FBI team who traced cell phones, and how – once silence fell – a soft call for help from 61-year old Myra Plekan was audible 13 hours after the collapse.
- Did L&I Inspector Ronald Wagenhofferadmit fault or not in a cell phone video he recorded before committing suicide last week? NBC10 reported Wagenhoffer said “It was my fault…” while the Nutter administration asserts he said “It wasn’t my fault…” The Daily News looks into the disupte.
- In addition to insufficient demolition regulations, has L&I become too focused on increasing revenue as staff shrank? Inquirer reports, “Critics of the department, including some current L&I employees, say that the department is understaffed and overworked and that top officials are focused on boosting revenue from permits, licenses, and fines rather than on safety enforcement.”
- And yet we wonder if anything will change? Inquirer reporter Stephan Salisbury found plenty of examples of news stories over the last 30 years relating to building collapse and site safety. “Take aging housing stock, dwindling regulatory budgets, inattention, and incompetence, and what you get is a city falling on itself.”
We know the PSFS building for its place in the skyline, but PhillyHistory takes a look back at how Howe & Lescaze’s design for the PSFS building at 12th and Market is also significant for the practical and pleasing ways it relates to the street, answering complex needs.