September 13: Fire ravaged Seaside | Farnese proposes anti-SLAPP measure | Olney gets new health center | Trader Joe’s cuts part-time health benefits | Philly loses retail headquarters

Happy Friday Eyes on the Street! Here is your end of the week news roundup. 

A massive boardwalk fire ripped through Seaside Park and Seaside Heights yesterday, completely destroying an estimated 20 businesses. The 10-alarm fire started around 2:30 p.m. and was swept north by strong winds. It took 400 firefighters approximately five hours to quell the inferno. A 50-foot trench had to be dug in the sand to stop the flames from spreading further. Governor Christie has called the damage “unthinkable.”

After a series of expensive lawsuits forced Old City Civic Association to shut down, First District State Sen. Larry Farnese was inspired to introduce legislation aimed at increasing the protection against Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation – or SLAPP suits, PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates reported. Pennsylvania has had an anti-SLAPP law since 2000, but Farnese’s proposed legislation would broaden the protection offered beyond environmental law and regulatory issues. 

North Philadelphia got a new health center this week when Public Health Management Corp. opened the 7,500-square-foot Rising Sun Health Center at 5675 N. Front Street. This location is three times larger than its previous location and will allow the center to expand its primary care and social service offerings. The center is in Olney, which has an estimated 35,500 people without insurance.

Trader Joe’s announced it is cutting health benefits for its part-time workers. The company, which has had a reputation for being a generous employer, suggested employees turn to new options created by Obamacare.  

Destination Maternity will receive $40 million in benefits to move its Philadelphia headquarters to South Jersey, reports the Philadelphia Business Journal. The company owns 1,893 retail locations and more than $500 million in sales. 

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