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May 30: Paulsboro health problems | City’s new GIS hires | SS United States’ propellor for auction | “Hipster economics” | 9th & Wharton under contract

Happy Friday, Streeters!

A new report finds that the majority of residents in Paulsboro, N.J. experienced numerous health issues following the train derailment that released noxious gas a year-and-a-half ago. The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that residents experienced upper respiratory problems, dizziness and eye irritation. 

When Adel Ebeid took over as Philadelphia’s Chief Innovation Officer, he started to rethink the city’s GIS (geographic information systems) strategy. Last week Ebeid announced new leadership to help with changes like linking the city’s GIS work with open data and civic technology initiatives. Technically Philly has more on the new hires: Mark Wheeler, Tom Swanson and Grant Ervin. 

The SS United States Conservancy is auctioning off the ship’s 18-foot propeller. If no one bids more than $100,000 by June 4, the propellor will be sold for scrap metal. According to Newsworks, the proceeds will contribute to a $300 million plan to restore the ship as a stationary mixed-use development and complex with hotel and retail space and a museum. 

In an Al-Jazeera English article, writer Sarah Kendzior calls psychylustro – the splash of color art installation commissioned by the Mural Arts Program along Amtrak and regional rail tracks – an example of hipster economics. She charges that rather than aleviating blight, psychylustro merely attempts to mask it. Philebrity offered its thoughts: “Thems fightin’ words.”

Less than a week after realty signs were posted on the vacant lot and adjacent building at 9th and Wharton streets, the lot and building across from Pat’s steaks are under contract. According to the Passyunk Post, the lot is being sold for $1.25 million and the building next to it is going for $275,000.

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