Rival Owners Of Philly Newspapers Pledge $77M Bids

The Philadelphia Inquirer-Daily News Building ...

The Philadelphia Inquirer-Daily News Building in Philadelphia, PA. Taken from North Broad and Callowhill Streets. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Rival owners fighting for control of Philadelphia’s two largest newspapers have each pledged $77 million to take control of the company.

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News are being sold as investors who bought them in 2012 argue over newsroom management and corporate strategy.

Wealthy businessmen George Norcross and Lewis Katz lead the rival factions, and testified at a hearing underway in Delaware this week to determine who can bid at the planned auction.

“There are people interested in this newspaper,” Katz testified Tuesday. “Whether or not they will come forward to bid is, in my mind, still problematic.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/pennsylvania/rival-owners-of-philly-newspapers-pledge-m-bids/article_7565e20e-ce5a-5bfa-9d30-9b3473304f9a.html

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Philadelphia’s Future In The Numbers

English: View of Philadelphia City Hall from t...

English: View of Philadelphia City Hall from the corner of Broad and Walnut Streets. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of all the numbers that tell the story of Philadelphia today, one stands out as an unambiguous expression of confidence in the city’s future.

Last year, developers received building permits for 2,815 units of new residential housing, the most approved in a decade. Those units are worth an estimated $465 million, the highest annual amount on record.

Investors appear to be betting that Philadelphia’s population, which rose for the seventh straight year in 2013 to 1,553,165, will keep growing and that many of the new residents, young and old, will be looking for new homes and apartments.

There is some demographic evidence to support this expectation. In recent years, the city has experienced rapid growth in its population of young adults, many of them well-educated and upwardly mobile. In addition, an increasing number of aging baby boomers are leaving the suburbs and moving into the city. And the middle-class population appears to have stabilized after decades of decline.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140406_Philadelphia_s_future.html#Ukhw32j52iwf8tzl.99

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Elevated Park On Rail Viaduct Finally Firming Up In Philly

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Neighborhood volunteers first began cultivating the idea of converting the ruins of the Reading Viaduct into Philadelphia’s own elevated park more than a decade ago.

After years of organizing, raising money, and drafting proposals, their efforts – and those of the politicians and professional planners who joined the cause – finally appear ready to bear fruit. Without fanfare, the city and the state have included millions of dollars in their latest budgets toward the first phase of the project: transforming the quarter-mile railroad “spur” that curves through the city’s burgeoning Loft District and dead-ends onto North Broad Street.

Turning that section into a park with stunning Center City views is just a small part of the overall vision to “green” abandoned railroad infrastructure, transforming foreboding eyesores into amenities.

A larger, 4/5-mile section of the viaduct stretches with fortresslike walls from Fairmount Avenue to Vine Street. Across Broad, the old railroad line drops below street level, running through a subterranean channel from the former Inquirer and Daily News building to Fairmount Park at Girard Avenue.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140406_Elevated_park_on_rail_viaduct_finally_firming_up.html#Uh2WhMLXCYwVcP2B.99

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7th Annual Montgomery County CareerLink Job Fair

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
9:30 am – 2 pm
DoubleTree by Hilton
Philadelphia – Valley Forge
301 West DeKalb Pike • King of Prussia, PA 19406

CONTACT
Melinda Onchitta
610.270.3429 x 234
MOnchitt@montcopa.org
http://www.Montcoworks.org

Participating Companies
CSL Behring • Albert Einstein Medical Center • Cobham
Clinical Financial Services • University of the Sciences
Globus Medical, Inc • Robert Half • HCR Manorcare
Acme Corrugated Box, Co., Inc
Manpower International Inc • JRF America, Inc
Tri County Transit Service, Inc
Securitas Security Services USA, Inc
The Carney Group • Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania
Kencrest Services • ECRI Institute

Click here for registration forms, directions, parking…http://montcopa.org/index.aspx?NID=1786

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Philadelphia Has 4 Homicides In 12-Hour Span Sunday

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Antonio Flores, 17, was the fourth person killed in a 12-hour period in Philadelphia on Sunday, police say.

And detectives are still searching for the 23-year-old who they believe is behind Flores’ shooting death inside a friend’s apartment in Spring Garden.

Flores was hanging out with friends on the 1600 block of Wallace Street around 3:25 Sunday afternoon when at some point, one of those friends pulled out a gun and fired once, homicide Capt. James Clark said.

Flores was hit in the head, and the friends in the apartment scattered, Clark said. One stayed behind and called police as Flores lay bleeding on the floor. He was pronounced dead at Hahnemann University Hospital about 20 minutes later.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20140401_Phildelphia_has_4_homicides_in_12-hour_span_Sunday.html#a7JLE47vWX81U3AT.99

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Philly Schools Facing $320 Million Deficit

English: South Philadelphia High School, taken...

English: South Philadelphia High School, taken from Broad Street, with snow in the foreground (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FOR THE SECOND straight year, the Philadelphia School District is staring at a more than $300 million shortfall for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

That’s according to a lump-sum budget adopted last night by the School Reform Commission, which lays out broad projections of revenue and expenses. The forecast anticipates $2.8 billion in expenses, with $2.5 billion in revenues, leaving a deficit of $320 million.

“Based on our current financial picture, we are still left without adequate funding to provide even the most basic services for our students,” SRC chairman Bill Green said. “We are again in a position to ask for additional funding.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140328_Philly_schools_facing__320_million_deficit.html#P7Hcx2qtfSuo52VT.99

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Changing Skyline: Parking Garages Threaten To Wall Off Schuylkill’s East Bank

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich http://www.flickr.com/photos/10396190@N04 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia spent the last decade working out a single, knotty planning problem: How should the old industrial spaces on the Delaware waterfront evolve? The consensus was that vacant land would be developed to resemble the rest of the city, with walkable streets, a mix of uses, and lively ground floors. No one was naive enough to think such projects could be realized without parking garages, but the expectation was that the structures would not dominate the river.

It’s a shame the conversation was never extended to the city’s other riverfront, the Schuylkill, which has come alive since a trail park pushed into Center City.

Like the Delaware, the Schuylkill is dotted with tracts of empty land crying out for housing, offices, and retail. But while little new has been built on the city’s big river – save for the suburban-style SugarHouse Casino – the Schuylkill is now sizzling with likely projects.

Predictably, each of the three proposals would front the river with a large, unsightly garage. They range from One Riverside’s modest, one-story garage at Locust Street to NP International’s multilevel, mega-development at Cherry Street. If built as designed, they would turn the bustling Schuylkill waterfront into Philadelphia’s own Great Wall of Parking.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/home/20140328_Changing_Skyline__Parking_garages_threaten_to_wall_off_Schuylkill_s_east_bank.html#FYw7GIe2AssxRvpe.99

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Amtrak Boss Stresses Higher Speeds On Northeast Corridor

Map of the Northeast Corridor, traced on USGS ...

Map of the Northeast Corridor, traced on USGS topos. Legend: Red – Amtrak ownership Blue – NEC commuter services and NEC commuter rail agency ownership Black – off-NEC Amtrak lines not owned by Amtrak Green – stations on the NEC (Amtrak only) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON – Amtrak’s planned new Acela Express trains will carry more passengers and be more reliable than the current ones, even if they won’t travel much faster, Amtrak president Joseph Boardman said Thursday.

Amtrak is seeking proposals, with the California High-Speed Rail Authority, for new high-speed trains that can run at 220 miles an hour on the West Coast and 160 miles an hour on the Northeast Corridor.

Proposals from train-builders are due by May 17. A builder will be selected by the end of the year, Boardman said.

The first of the new Acela trains are supposed to be in service between Washington and Boston by 2018.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140328_Amtrak_boss_stresses_higher_speeds_on_Northeast_Corridor.html#v1btxHH7FQXZeq6R.99

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Census: Philadelphia Population Grows Again, But Rate Slows

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich http://www.flickr.com/photos/10396190@N04 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia’s population rose again last year, albeit at a slower rate than the city’s growth over the past few years, according to Census data released today.

The city’s population as of July 1, 2013, stood at an estimated 1,553,165 people, an increase of 4,518 residents, or 0.29 percent from the previous year. It marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for the city, according to the Census Bureau’s population estimates. So the turnaround continues, but not as dramatically.

Philadelphia saw steep declines in the latter part of the 20th century as it continued to struggle with the loss of its industrial base. That trend continued into the new millennium. Indeed, the city’s population declined every year between 2000 and 2006, losing nearly 26,000 residents during the span. But since 2006, the city has added more than 64,000 people.

The new census numbers, however, suggest that the population rise has slowed. Philadelphia added only about half as many residents in 2013 as it gained in 2011 and 2012. Between 2010 and 2012, the city’s population grew by more than 1.3 percent.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/032714_Census_Philadelphia_population_grows_again_but_rate_slows.html#x6SWWPYwWoS51Kck.99

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Forecasters: Snow Returns To Philadelphia Area Tuesday

It’s now officially spring, but more snow is on its way to the Philadelphia region.

The National Weather Service says a few inches of snow are expected to fall between Tuesday morning and early Wednesday, with most of the Philadelphia area seeing between 1.5 and 3.5 inches.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Forecasters_Snow_returns_to_Philadelphia_area_Tuesday.html#vhG0q4iuBmY8Vu8w.99

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Philadelphia Area Unemployment Up From December

Unemployment in the Philadelphia metropolitan area rose in January to 7.1 percent, up from 6.4 percent in December, but down from 9 percent in January 2013, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140322_Area_unemployment_up_from_December.html#ouUzERh3WigAgK9U.99

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Clarke Unveils Plan For Affordable Housing In Gentrifying Philly Neighborhoods

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Council President Darrell Clarke today unveiled a plan to build 1,500 affordable housing units in gentrifying neighborhoods like Francisville, Point Breeze and Mantua by redeveloping city-owned vacant land or tax-delinquent properties.

One thousand of the units will be rentals and would take advantage of two underused financing tools, Clarke said: operational subsidies for affordable housing from the Philadelphia Housing Authority and a tax credit from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

The city would also need to issue a $100 million bond to be paid for by the Housing Trust Fund, which currently supports other programs.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/cityhall/Clarke-unveils-plan-for-affordable-housing-in-gentrifying-neighborhoods.html#o1ssZ08Syqt3eBBK.99

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Bolaris: Models Align For A Brush With Snow

It looks like the storm we have been watching for days will take on a similar track as the one two weeks ago, when most of the snow fell across southeast New Jersey and Delaware. This storm should generally follow the same path.

Computer models for the last several days have differed largely on the outcome for this storm. Ranging from the North American model blasting us with heavy snow, the global forecasting model ejecting the storm off the Florida coast and the European and Canadian models painting a swath of heavy snow just east of Philly.

Then a wild swing with the global models put Philly back into the heavy snow as the North American model completely went the other way – with no snow for Philly.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Bolaris_Models_align_for_a_brush_with_snow.html#LLxlhBm6vi7G5wU7.99

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Open For Risky Business: Philadelphia’s Vacant Properties

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With its broken plywood door and faded graffiti, the former hosiery mill on Frankford Avenue in Philadelphia’s Fishtown section is a contrast to the quarter-million-dollar townhouses and upscale lofts nearby.

1101 Frankford is not just a four-story eyesore, says Thomas Fasone, who owns an antique lighting shop next door. He rates it a magnet for trouble.

“It’s so easy to get into these buildings,” says Fasone, who has complained to the city. “They can go in to keep warm, start a fire, do drugs, fall asleep, and a fire breaks out.”

The place is supposed to be sealed. But on two recent visits, an Inquirer reporter found it open. The owners have problems, too. One of them, a Drexel Hill man, is accused of dealing marijuana

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/city/20140310_Open_for_risky_business__Phila__s_vacant_properties.html#5hYIOdF5lTCuGBHK.99

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Suburban Renewal: Who Needs Center City?

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Teleflex Corp. responded to American industrial decline by selling or closing down its old car, boat and factory controls plants. It shrank its workforce by half (and by two-thirds in the U.S.)., and switched to the medical-devices business. It worked, if the stock market is the measure: The company has been trading at record levels.

Next step was to do something about its old Limerick Township headquarters. “We were in a large campus, off the main thoroughfares, where we had manufacturing facilities for the now-divested operations, reflective of our previous era,” says Cam Hicks, Teleflex’s vice president for global HR.

“We wanted a place where we could get access to new talent, and position ourselves for growth, while increasing our visibility, without a net increase in commute time” for headquarters workers scattered through Philadelphia’s western suburbs.

Last week the company moved into its new digs at CrossPoint, a Tredyffrin office park near US 202, which has itself been recycled out of foreclosure. To build the center, 1970s-era buildings at the former Valley Forge Office Center have been connected by a glass atrium packed with amenities that office workers used to have to drive off to find, and updated from an earlier, Monopoly-board vision of suburban business, which set office parks here, restaurants up there, recreation over that way.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/teleflexx.html#B7PsK8G3yq2ss74E.99

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Acme Parent Company Buys Safeway for $9 Billion

Acme Markets’ corporate parent, the Albertsons grocery-store chain, on Thursday purchased Safeway Inc., for about $9 billion.

Albertsons is controlled by an investor group led by Cerberus, a New York-based private-equity firm. Other investors included Philadelphia-based Lubert-Adler Partners, Kimco Realty Corp., Klaff Realty L.P., and Schottenstein Real Estate Group.

With the purchase of Safeway, the group will now control about 2,400 grocery stores, making it one of the largest chains in the country.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140307_Acme_parent_company_buys_Albertsons_for__9B.html#yfZ07Jksrr6jsbWd.99

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In Happiness Rankings, Pennsylvania Feeling Kinda Blue

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HOW YOU feeling, Bunkie? Something got you down?

In the annual Gallup poll measuring Americans’ sense of well-being, also known as the happiness poll, Pennsylvania was No. 36 in 2013, down sharply from 29 the year before. (Thank you, Gov. Corbett?) Since Philadelphians are the single biggest geographic group of Pennsylvanians, our civic angst probably drags down the ranking.

We have a schools crisis and send in a hothead as a healer. Crime by criminals is down but crime by cops is up. Buildings collapse, water mains explode, the mayor adds deputy mayors and bike lanes. Poverty is up, employment is down, as are the Phillies, Sixers and Flyers. No wonder we’re not happy.

Do I hear laughter from across the river?

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140303_Don_t_be_glum__chum.html#yTgJ8HAsd3rKLEHi.99

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North Philadelphia Meeting Addresses Gentrification

, a in , Pennsylvania

, a in , Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PEOPLE FROM all over Philadelphia came together Saturday to tell their stories about gentrification at the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia.

Organizers had issued fliers calling for an “emergency town hall” to confront a “crisis facing black Philadelphia: the demise of our neighborhoods.”

In gentrification, some neighborhoods are targeted for revitalization – but the new development leads to huge rent or property-tax increases that often force longtime residents out.

Sister Empress Phile, one of the organizers, said the group will host more town halls and ask for more public meetings, including congressional hearings.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140303_North_Philadelphia_meeting_addresses_gentrification.html#AU1SM36tmtUWDA0U.99

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Bolaris: Significant Snow, Sleet Late Sunday

March is the most volatile month of the year weatherwise as winter and spring duke it out.

It’s when winter transitions into spring and huge contrasts in air masses make for a nasty March cocktail. A battle zone of air masses results when lingering arctic fronts set up the dividing line between polar air colliding with spring-like milder temps. In this zone, you get massive outbreaks of severe storms and the tornado season launches, starting usually in late March and hits a peak by mid-late April.

But March in Philly has had some record snowstorms, including the infamous blizzard of 1888 when Philadelphia got smacked with 10.5 inches of snow along with winds approaching 80mph along the Jersey Shore.

And of course the very first “storm of the century” March 13-14, 1993, when we got buried with 12 inches of snow and sleet.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Bolaris_Significant_snow_sleet_late_Sunday.html#JMgsyXl2Ee0zVy6G.99

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