Workforce matchmakers | inequitable REO maintenance | earthen architecture | city tax reform stalled | iWatch crime reporting

Good morning, Streeters. It’s Good Friday and the beginning of Passover today, baseball is back, and the weekend promises to be nothing short of gorgeous. Here’s this morning’s buzz:

The down economy means more people, especially women, are relying on the state’s public workforce development system. NewsWorks and the Daily News take a look at the matchmaking programs that connect job seekers with skills and opportunities, profiling Frankford’s Jewish Educational Vocational Services and a Pennsylvania CareerLink center in Chinatown. It’s the first story in a new NewsWorks/Daily News series about the state’s $67 million publicly funded, workforce development system.

Banks are less likely to maintain foreclosed properties in minority neighborhoods than white ones, according to a new report by the National Fair Housing Alliance. Philadelphia was one of ten metro areas studied in the report. Philly Weekly noted that the report found squatters were more common in Philadelphia’s neglected bank-owned properties, creating quality of life, safety, and health concerns. See the report here [pdf].

Inga Saffron digs into dirt with a column today about rammed earth construction and her adventures making MudWorks at Harvard.

Philadelphia’s entire tax system is in dire need of reform. An editorial in today’s Daily News points out that despite years of planning and reports, efforts to fix the city’s business and wage taxes are going nowhere. “What Philadelphia needs is a competitive tax structure with a level playing field, not breaks for companies that agree to come here if they get special treatment.” Instead we’re “putting Band-Aids on a mortal wound.”

Want to send a tip to the Police Department? There’s an app for that. Philadelphians will soon be able to send in anonymous tips using iWatch to help aid police investigations by reporting suspicious behavior. The app has been used in other cities nationwide.


The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.

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