PGW for sale, ‘radical hospitality’ for homeless, PATCO ridership high, Yaron convicted, Philly loves singles

Interested in owning a utility? Philadelphia Gas Works is about to be for sale, the Inquirer reports. An analysis by Lazard Freres & Co. LLC determined that the sale of PGW could yield $1.85 billion, and largely offset the utility’s bond liabilities. Mayor Nutter says a prospective buyer would have to freeze rates, continue low- and fixed-income assistance, and honor union agreements. The downside: no liens by the city for nonpayment.

Say what you will about the city’s motivation to regulate groups that feed homeless people on the Parkway, but isn’t there a better way to help the homeless? The Daily News‘ Ronnie Polaneczky broke bread at the Broad Street Ministry alongside homeless people and volunteers, finding a dignified experience that pastor Bill Golderer calls “radical hospitality.” In that environment of respect, volunteers and social workers say they have an easier time connecting homeless individuals with services. Could it be a model?

PATCO ridership reached an 11-year high last year, reports the Inquirer. Thank higher tolls, more expensive gas, younger commuters, and the down economy. SEPTA, for its part, saw the most passengers since 1989.

Developer Michael Yaron was convicted of wire and mail fraud in New York, reports Yaron’s companies received construction contracts from New York Presbyterian Hospital in exchange for $2.3 million in kickbacks starting in 2000. Yaron is responsible for several successful redevelopment and reuse projects in Old City.

And for those without Valentines today, take heart, Philadelphia was named the 6th best American city for singles by Kiplinger. Ann Arbor, Michigan was number one.

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