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You are viewing 46 articles for 2019 by the author Jake Blumgart

    • Recycling bins on Cuthbert Street in Philadelphia. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Streets Department: Philadelphia to end trashing recyclables

The Philadelphia Streets Department is responsible for a host of important functions including trash pickup, road safety infrastructure, and street sweeping (or not). But few of these policy areas were given…

    • Philadelphia fire commissioner Adam Thiel at The Original Apostolic Faith Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in North Philadelphia in March of 2018.

Q&A: How Philly’s firefighters keep the city’s historic buildings safe

Philadelphia is an especially historic city and one that is especially fire-prone too. Neighborhoods like Old City have seen a series of conflagrations in recent years, as historic buildings without…

    • Siobhan Reardon stands in the Heim Center for Cultural and Civic Engagement, part of a massive renovation of the Parkway Central Library. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philly councilwoman calls for Free Library director to step down

The Philadelphia Free Library leadership faced harsh questioning from City Council in the wake of controversies about racial and religious diversity in the system. “You need to do more, you need…

    • Derek Green | Emma Lee/WHYY

Councilman proposes change to Philly bidding system to boost small businesses

Philadelphia Councilman Derek Green wants to make it easier for small businesses to win contracts with the city. “This would help us to keep dollars in the city of Philadelphia, in…

    • 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)

Indicted Bobby Henon pushes for more L&I inspectors, dominates budget hearing

Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections met with rapturous praise at its Wednesday budget hearing, as City Council members suggested that the agency ask for far more funding than officials planned…

    • A house once stood on an empty lot on Tulip Street in Old Richmond. It collapsed because of faulty demo next door. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Illegal construction is causing an uptick in building collapses. Will Philly hire more inspectors?

Jim Hopp didn’t know it would be his last time seeing his childhood home whole when he pulled up to pick up the mail a month ago. The Fishtown house was…

    • All Day Breakfast at the corner of 3rd and Market | Theresa Stigale

City Council bill targets Philadelphia food trucks

Northeast Philly Councilman Brian O’Neill wants to ban sidewalk vendors in his district. If the legislation gets the needed approval votes, it would be the second district-wide ban, making food trucks…

    • A demolition permit was filed for the  19th Street Baptist Church.

City taskforce unveils new approach to preservation aimed at saving unrecognized Philly history

Historic buildings often get knocked down because owners can’t afford to keep them standing. A package of legislative and regulatory reforms introduced by Mayor Jim Kenney and other city leaders Thursday…

    • Artist's rendering of Midwood's proposed Italian Market apartment building, as seen from Washington Avenue and Ninth Street looking east.

Could a driveway kill the Italian Market?

The entrance to an underground parking garage has become the latest flashpoint in a fiery battle over the future of the Italian Market. A crowd of South Philadelphia residents waited hours…

    • An aerial view of the 1800 block of East Hilton Street, where a supervised injection site has been proposed.

Councilman Mark Squilla moves to block supervised injection site

Philadelphia Councilman Mark Squilla introduced a bill that could prevent the nation’s first supervised injection site from opening at the Kensington location secured by project backers. Squilla on Thursday in City…

    • Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown is shown in City Council chambers. (Nathaniel Hamilton for WHYY, file)

Lead-safety bill passes Philly City Council, more ambitious companion measure stalled

The city of Philadelphia will soon be required to have inspectors give many refurbished municipal buildings lead safety certifications. The proposed regulation is part of a sweeping lead-safety legislative package introduced…

    • Caption/Description: James Smith Jr. rents a room in Victor Pickney's rooming house. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Rooms for rent: Inside Philadelphia’s shadow housing market

James Smith Jr. got lucky. The 68-year-old pays $80 a week to live in a safe building in Brewerytown, one of the city’s quickly gentrifying neighborhoods. He moved in five years…

    • ap 953666489018

Philadelphia’s deadliest road is inching towards speed cameras

Philadelphia drivers can expect to see speed enforcement cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard by the end of the year, city officials said Thursday. The 12-lane North Philadelphia road is the city’s most…

    • A row of houses, colorful but in need of substantial repairs, on North 27th Street in North Philadelphia.

Philadelphia launches $40 million home repair loan program

A new low-interest loan program aimed at helping Philadelphia homeowners fix aging or damaged homes will provide $40 million worth of repairs to qualified applicants, city officials said Wednesday. The Restore,…

    • Nicholas Baker fought to preserve Philadelphia's remaining cast-iron subway entrances, like this one at City Hall. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Local man wins protections for Philly’s iconic cast-iron subway entrances

A decade after a local graduate student recommended preserving Philadelphia’s iconic cast-iron subway entrances, the Philadelphia Historical Commission approved protections for the ornate gates. That graduate student, Nicholas Baker, tried to…

    • Mayor Kenney speaks at annual budget address. Credit: Emma Lee/WHYY

Kenney's 2019 budget falls short on spending for libraries, housing, critics say

Mayor Jim Kenney’s annual budget address proved to be a quiet affair, with little in the way of cheering, jeering, or laughter. Two of the biggest applause lines came when Kenney…

    • Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, left, shakes hands with members of City Council at City Hall on Nov. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

7 takeaways from Mayor Jim Kenney's $5 billion spending plan

Mayor Jim Kenney’s fourth budget address will put forward a modest agenda focused on improving government services in the final year of what he hopes is his first term. Previous budget…

    • screen shot 2019 03 02 at 9 56 14 am

Fresh plans released for condo tower behind Dilworth House, in advance of review

After almost 20 years of bureaucratic battles, courtroom litigation, and several stops and starts, the condo tower planned for the parcel behind the Dilworth House on Washington Square faces what may…

    • Comcast will not pay property taxes on the value of its soaring 1.2 billion Technology Center until 2027 thanks to the 10-year  abatement. (Comcast)

Domb proposes 10-year tax abatement reform

After more than a year of sharp debate over Philadelphia’s 10-year property tax abatement, City Councilman Allan Domb has introduced legislation to shrink — but not substantially change — the controversial…

    • Omar Woodard

Omar Woodard challenging City Council President Darrell Clarke

City Council President Darrell Clarke will face a new challenger for his Fifth District seat in North Philadelphia, according to documents filed with the city Board of Ethics.   That challenger,…

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