PlanPhilly

March 17: Bethlehem Steel’s future | How Tacony survives | Left-lane cruising fine

After eight years in operation, Lehigh Valley Live reports that Sands Casino is negotiating the sale of its share of Bethlehem Steel’s former flagship plant. When the Las Vegas-based casino first purchased the historic property, the company promised Bethlehem residents tax relief, jobs, and extensive historic preservation of the property. Sands has since become Pennsylvania's most profitable casino and worked with the city and local nonprofits to develop the iconic blast furnaces anchoring the SteelStacks into an arts campus. Bethlehem residents hope that the next owner, who could take advantage of the redevelopment authority’s tax fund intended for infrastructure improvements, shares the city’s vision for the site.

Governor Chris Christie proposes $10 million for lead remediation after Environment New Jersey gave the state a C- for its efforts to mitigate lead levels in schools and homes, NewsWorks’ Phil Gregory reports. While advocates support the Garden State’s step forward to test the drinking water in schools, they argue that the work and costs will be in “replacing lead-contaminated water pipes and removing lead paint from old home.” PennLive reported last month that PennEnvironment gave Philadelphia a D- and Pennsylvania an F for their proactive policies in place to protect children from lead poisoning.

While the threat of gentrification looms over urban discourse, the decline of “middle neighborhoods,” which the Federal Reserve considers the traditional the heart of American cities, proves to be a much more wicked problem. Inga Saffron writes about how civic leaders in Tacony, a working-class neighborhood in the Lower Northeast, has embraced creative development opportunities and changing racial demographics to remain populated, prosperous, and affordable. Earlier this week PlanPhilly’s Jake Blumgart covered the history and future of Tacony Music Hall, which is slated to become the city’s first sex-positive community center.

The growing solar industry has become well known for U.S. job creation in the energy sector and its minimized carbon footprint. Next City argues that solar has an even more significant sustaining power as a workforce development and social equity engine for re-entering citizens, women, and workers with varying education backgrounds.

It’s not a crime for left-lane cruisers to be "annoying as heck,” however legislators are fining drivers for being dangerously oblivious. PBS News Hour covers how more and more states have imposed higher fines for driving in, instead of passing through, the left lane.


About the author

Diana Lu, Community Engagement Editor

Diana runs PlanPhilly’s community outreach and engagement online and in real life. She has spent more than ten years in the non-profit and public sectors working on urban development issues including environmental justice, design-based manufacturing, and community and economic development.  Prior to joining PlanPhilly, Diana worked as the Director of Partnerships and Outreach for 10,000 Small Businesses, a public-private initiative focused strengthening local businesses through revenue generation and local job creation.  Follow Diana on instagram @dianaluwho and email her at dlu@whyy.org.



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