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You are viewing 15 articles for January 2019 by the author Jake Blumgart

    • Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon wears a Local 98 T-shirt at the Labor Day parade in 2016. Henon's office at City Council was searched by the FBI a month before. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Councilman indicted on union corruption charges introduces contractor review bill

Indicted Philadelphia Councilman Bobby Henon introduced bills that would strengthen City Hall’s power over building contractors on Thursday. The legislation was introduced just hours before the embattled representative of the lower…

    • The Mifflin Tavern on 2nd Street.

Johnny Doc charges rattle Pennsport

Frank Kryszczak hasn’t lived in Pennsport since 1985, but he still returns for a beer or two on occasion. Wednesday evening — hours after news of union leader John “Johnny Doc”…

    • Properties in the neighborhoods surrounding Drexel University offer apartments for a burgeoning student population.

Philly officials to face Council scrutiny on faulty property assessments

This afternoon an extremely wonky fight over how Philadelphia assesses property values is going to take center stage in City Hall.  Since the beginning of 2019, two audits have shown flaws…

    • This 2013 photo shows Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez stands in front of a blighted home in her district.

Philadelphia Land Bank reform introduced as fix for troubled sales process

On City Council’s first week back in session, Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sanchez introduced a bill to bring additional oversight and transparency to the Philadelphia Land Bank, an agency that sells city-owned land.…

    • A rendering of the Central Delaware River waterfront produced as part of the riverfront planning process.

With new towers coming to the Delaware River waterfront, proposed rules encourage public access

As developers descend on the Delaware River waterfront with plans for luxurious new high-rises, city officials are considering a bill intended to protect public access to the scenic waterway. Introduced by…

    • Helen Gym | Emma Lee/WHYY

Helen Gym floats 10-year tax abatement fixes

Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym introduced two bills to reform the city’s controversial 10-year property tax abatement on Thursday, saying that she believes policy change is imminent. “With the introduction of these…

    • Sheet Metal Workers protest in City Council on Dec.4, 2018.

Labor beats real estate industry in fire damper fight

A controversial bill to require licensed technicians to regularly inspect fire-prevention devices in Philadelphia high-rises passed unanimously in City Council on Thursday. Councilman Allan Domb, who sells real estate, recused himself…

    • Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. speaks at an anti-eviction rally, organized by the Philadelphia Tenants Union. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

City gets behind ‘good cause’ eviction law, but with some reservations about next steps

The mayor’s reception room hosted an array of Philadelphia politicians and housing activists Tuesday afternoon, all of whom promised to fight for renters’ rights. The details, however, varied significantly, depending on…

    • A customer browses the shelves at Shakespeare & Co. in Center City.

Independent bookstores are coming back in Philly, across the U.S.

This is the age of Amazon. Brick-and-mortar retail is flailing. And print books? Those were eventually supposed to go the way of the dodo after the introduction of Kindle and other…

    • Birds circle Mount Moriah Cemetery's historic gatehouse. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Mount Moriah cemetery could become nature sanctuary

On the edge of Philadelphia, Mount Moriah cemetery sprawls over 380 acres, spreading into Delaware County and sheltering 80,000 thousand graves. But when Paulette Rhone goes there to visit her husband’s…

    • he National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia on South Broad Street.

Shrine of St. Rita on South Broad protected from wrecking ball

The National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia won admission to the local register of historic places, preserving the immense Catholic church facing the Broad Street Diner from demolition or serious…

    • 2019 01 11 e lee corey loftus 1515 arch philadelphia historical commission penn student preservation advocate 2

23-year-old superfan wins protections for West Philly gingerbread houses

Between the University of Pennsylvania and Cedar Park in West Philadelphia lies what is believed to be the largest collection of Victorian homes in America. Only a handful of them are…

    • An unswept street in the Germantown Special Services District on Nov. 2, 2018. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Germantown businesses revolt against taxing district that didn’t deliver on clean streets promise

Jamar L. Kelly faces a monumental challenge. The interim executive director of the Germantown Special Services District knows his organization is failing at its core mission of keeping the neighborhood’s commercial…

    • Single-family houses with ground floor garages recently rose on the 200 block of Arch Street.

3 reasons why Philadelphia won’t follow Minneapolis’s ban on single-family zoning

For people who follow U.S. housing policy, 2018 ended with a radical suggestion hanging in the air. In December, Minneapolis confronted a growing affordability crisis and longstanding patterns of racial segregation…

    • Historic Garsed-Bromley house, aka Northwood Frankford Community Y, February 2014

Frankford Y's new owner promises he won't bring opioid recovery center to historic mansion

After a decade of vacancy, a new owner has taken control of a neglected 19th century Northeast Philadelphia landmark. The brownstone mansion at 4704 Leiper Street, which most recently operated as…

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