October 3: PPA scandals past | Globe Dye for sale | Walnut Lane Bridge poetry

It’s Rosh Hashanah today – Shana Tova! 

Dave Davies looks back at the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s propensity for scandals, bred in part because it is still a bastion of political patronage even as the rest of municipal government has turned civil service. “In 2004, the Daily News did stories revealing that parking authority employees were being told that to keep their jobs, they had to buy tickets to three Republican fundraisers a year, for a total of $275. According the paper, the practice was coordinated by a deputy director of the authority named Vince Fenerty, the Republican leader of the 31st Ward.” Far from scandalized, Fenerty was promoted the next year to executive director where he remained until last week when he resigned in light of sexual harassment cases.

The Globe Dye Works complex in Frankford has hit the market for $7.5 million. A team of investors has spent the last seven years converting the 10-building complex into a hub for artisanal businesses and has even started creating live-work spaces. “They are certainly hoping whomever takes over the project seeks to keep it as an arts-friendly and small, manufacturing-friendly environment,” listing agent Christopher Plant told CurbedPhilly.

Inga Saffron casts her eye on Brewerytown’s last brewery, F.A. Poth Brewing Co. at 31st and Jefferson, and notes it was acquired in April by John Wei, a real-estate investor who owns the Church of the Assumption on Spring Garden Street.

Jean Gavin is circulating a petition to give a stretch of Oxford Avenue in Fox Chase proper sidewalks so pedestrians don’t have to walk in the street. Valerie Russ reports that the petition is directed at Councilman Brian O’Neill, but O’Neill believes “these sidewalks are Conrail’s responsibility. SEPTA has agreed to try to help with this issue, but it is a long-term project.”

“Leaping high in the air from the very domes of the trees, curving in a sheer smooth superb span that catches the last western light on its concrete flanks, it flashes across the darkened valley as nobly as an old Roman viaduct of southern France. It is a thrilling thing, and I scrambled up the bank to know down the names of the artists who planned it. The tablet is dated 1906, and bears the names of George S. Webster, chief engineer; Henry H. Quimby, assistant engineer; Reilly & Riddle, contractors. Many poets have written versus both good and bad about the Wissahickon, but Messrs. Reilly & Riddle have spanned it with the poem that will long endure.” On the occasion of the Walnut Lane Bridge’s repair, Ken Finkel unearthed those century-old words from Christopher Morley’s “Travels in Philadelphia”.

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