Scranton Commuter Tax Struck Down By Judge

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

Scranton commuters will not have to pay a commuter tax.

Senior Judge John Braxton of Philadelphia issued an order today striking down Scranton’s commuter tax.

The judge dismissed two procedural objections made by petitioners opposing the commuter tax, but agreed that Act 205 doesn’t give the city power to exclusively levy a tax on commuters. The wage tax had to be levied on both nonresidents and residents.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/commuter-tax-struck-down-by-judge-1.1762802

Frontier Airlines To Return To Philadelphia

English: Frontier Airlines N929FR at FLL.

English: Frontier Airlines N929FR at FLL. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frontier Airlines – with new owners, a new management team, and a new logo on its planes – is coming to Philadelphia with flights to seven cities.

Denver’s hometown airline will announce Tuesday nonstop flights from Philadelphia International Airport to Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, Fla., and Cancun, Mexico, in December, and to Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., and Chicago next spring.

“These are underserved markets with very high fares,” Frontier chief executive officer David Siegel said. “We’re going to expand the market, stimulating it with low fares and dropping in a little bit of capacity.”

Frontier hasn’t flown scheduled service from Philadelphia since January 2013, soon after it began flights from Trenton-Mercer Airport.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140930_JETTING_BACK_IN.html#sifzAxdbfOBcouvv.99

Philadelphia’s New Gem: A Stroll On The Schuylkill

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

Let New York gloat about completing the High Line. Philadelphia is about to debut a linear park that might be even more impressive: the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk.

As wonderful as the High Line is, it merely allows people to wend their way through Manhattan a few stories above its bustling streets. When the latest segment of the Schuylkill Banks trail opens to the public Thursday, you’ll be able to walk on water, under the glittering gaze of the Center City skyline.

The new 15-foot-wide walkway dives into the river at Locust Street, and doesn’t crawl back onto dry land until it reaches the South Street Bridge, a joyous journey more than 2,000 feet long. Along the way, you’re borne over the water like Huck and Jim on their raft, simultaneously a part of the world and temporarily removed from it.

Big puffball canopies of trees sweep past. Trains rumble by, keeping time with your step. Cars whoosh along the expressway on the opposite bank. In the evening, as the lee shore fades to black and lights flicker on, the city can feel as distant as outer space. Cars and trains devolve into abstract streaks of color. Only the lapping river is a reminder that the solid earth remains nearby.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/home/20140928_Changing_Skyline__A_Stroll_on_the_Schuylkill.html#3zXOsHclp7lMEyYi.99

Coming Soon (Again) To The Big Board: Sunoco

English: Sunoco Logo

English: Sunoco Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunoco’s storied name, absent from the New York Stock Exchange since the Philadelphia company was acquired by a Dallas energy firm in 2012, will return to the Big Board this year.

Energy Transfer Partners L.P. (ETP), a Dallas pipeline company that became Sunoco Inc.’s parent company two years ago, announced Thursday night that it will give its recently acquired Texas convenience-store company, Susser Petroleum Partners, a new name that is kind of an old one – Sunoco L.P.

The new Sunoco L.P., which will trade under the ticker symbol SUN, will eventually become the corporate umbrella for ETP’s growing portfolio of fuel stations and convenience stores, including Sunoco Inc. ETP had said it intended to drop its retail assets into the Susser partnership when it announced the $1.8 billion acquisition in April.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140927_Coming_soon__again__to_the_Big_Board__Sunoco.html#D5YWhWdiMwxH7yS5.99

Wawa’s Pizza Will Probably Make You Sad

When Wawa announced earlier this week that it had begun selling pizza, it seemed—for however brief a moment—that the pizza gods had smiled down on this city, giving us yet another treat made convenient.

Finally,” we Philadelphians thought, “a place to grab a pie at literally any time of day. And it’s Wawa, so surely the pizza is decent.”

Indeed, Wawa seemed equally confident, rolling out their newfound pizza program at all of the chain’s stores under a “Deep Dish Focaccia Pizza” moniker. What’s more, it’s available in five styles—plain, pepperoni, buffalo chicken, veggie and bacon-jalapeño—so you can change up your order depending on your preference—and all for about $6 a pop.

Unfortunately, though, what we’re dealing with here is pizza in name only.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/food_department/Wawas-pizza-will-probably-make-you-sad.html#Jpz5C35DqcBUciSw.99

Why Philly Area Gets Slighted By ‘Best Places’ List

Two of Philadelphia’s bigger burbs got mentions in Money Magazine’s annually perplexing exercise titled “Best Places to Live.”

If that seems disappointing, know this: The fault lies not in ourselves. It’s a very limited list.

Overall, Bensalem, ranked at No. 43, was the only area municipality to make Money’s Top 50, which was led by not-exactly-famous McKinney, Texas; Maple Grove, Minn.; and Carmel, Ind., in that order.

Money lauded Bensalem’s “access to stunning state parks” and such leisure options as concerts at the TD Bank Amphitheater, gambling and racing at the Parx Casino and Racetrack, and shooting at the Philadelphia Gun Club, noting “the local job market benefits from the presence of Fortune 1000 company Charming Shoppes as well as Ibanez Guitars and Tama Drums.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillylists/Local-town-No-2-for-Best-Places-to-Be-Rich-and-Single.html#7eG0vfTvDgxtwcMI.99

Gay-Assault Suspect Is Suspended From Hospital Job

KATHRYN KNOTT thinks “jazz flute is for little fairy boys,” #gay is #ew and whiskey is awesome.

Those Twitter musings are part of what may cost her a job at Lansdale Hospital, according to a statement from Abington Health System.

Knott, 24, of Southampton, Bucks County, was suspended yesterday from her position as an emergency-room technician at the hospital, where she has worked since May 2011.

Hours before she was suspended, Knott and two other suspects in an attack on two gay men near Rittenhouse Square allegedly fueled by homophobia turned themselves in to police to face charges of aggravated and simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140925_Gay-assault_suspect_is_suspended_from_hospital_job.html#FvU6rALU3RJFAb2i.99

D.A.: Three To Be Charged In Center City Attack

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

The District Attorney’s Office today approved arrest warrants for three suspects in the Sept. 11 attack on a gay couple near Rittenhouse Square.

Philip Williams, 24, Kevin Harrigan, 26, and Katherine Knott, 24, will be charged with two counts of aggravated assault and related offenses in the incident, District Attorney Seth Williams said.

All three reside in Bucks County.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/dncrime/DA-Three-to-be-charged-in-Center-City-attack.html#fE36qMxkaKpdqW1x.99

Attack On Gay Couple Prompts Outraged Citizens To Use Twitter To Try To Solve The Crime

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighti...

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighting Center City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The video Philadelphia police posted online represented a major break in a horrific case – capturing images of a group suspected in a vicious Center City attack on a gay couple.

The suspects in the video – a group of young men and women, laughing, smiling and dressed for a night out – had allegedly mocked two men walking near Rittenhouse Square before beating them badly, sending both to the hospital. One of the men was also robbed, police said.

Word spread, and within hours, people took to Twitter and the Internet, trawling through social media in an attempt to identify the men and women in the video and forwarding their findings to police.

As detectives in the case zeroed in on the suspects and fielded tips, the online effort to identify them became something of a crowdsourced investigation.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140918_Attack_on_gay_couple_prompts_outraged_citizens_to_use_Twitter_to_try_to_solve_the_crime.html#oEwr1taBqrS46zLg.99

E-68 Respiratory Virus Identified In Pennsylvania

Three cases of a respiratory illness called enterovirus 68 have been identified in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania health authorities reported Tuesday.

The cases of the virus, known as E-68, were identified from specimens collected at a hospital in Philadelphia, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which is not identifying the facility.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6808446-74/identified-virus-cases#ixzz3DXZlW2Qm
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Icehouse Condos’ Next Phase Begins In Fishtown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

Nearly a decade after he started the project, James Maransky has finally finished the second phase of the Icehouse, his 36-unit condominium development at Thompson Street and Columbia Avenue in Fishtown.

EnVision Group, his company, now will break ground on a third phase. One block over from the Icehouse on Columbia, it is developing Moyer Street Court townhouses.

Maransky, founder of EnVision and a green-roof professional who specializes in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified construction, said many of his colleagues in the industry did not make it through the financial crisis.

He knows how hard it was – and almost had to stop work himself. The Icehouse’s second phase was on ice, figuratively, during the financial meltdown as banks backed away from new projects. But, Maransky said recently as he looked out on the project’s common green-roof area, “I was so confident that once the first phase was finished, the second phase would sell out – and it did.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/20140914_Phase_III_of_Icehouse_beginning.html#0keucPoskwfxbgLA.99

Diversity Lacking In Scranton, Wilkes-Barre Police

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One.

That’s the number of racial minorities on the 143-officer Scranton police force.

Meanwhile, Scranton has morphed into a fairly diverse city in recent years.

The 2010 census reported the city was more than 5 percent black and 3 percent Asian. More than 80 percent is white. About 10 percent of the population is Latino.

With the mostly white police force in Ferguson, Missouri, making headlines while trying to quell protests from the mostly black town residents after a white officer shot a black teenager last month, the lack of diversity in police departments, and the problems that come with it, have been pulled back into the public eye.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/diversity-lacking-in-scranton-w-b-police-1.1748937

2 Bodies Pulled From Schuylkill River In Philadelphia

Two men were stabbed, bound and their bodies sunk with a makeshift anchor in the Schuylkill River, while a third man found half-dressed said he had been abducted in a bizarre series of events off Kelly Drive early this morning.

Philadelphia police were at the scene along the east side of the river, just past the John Kelly statue, for several hours this morning trying to untangle what happened to the three men.

The surviving victim told investigators that he had been grabbed by a group of about five men, thrown in the back of a van, stabbed, robbed and taken to the river with the two men whose bodies were later pulled from water. The other two were already in the van when he was abducted, the victim told police.

The investigation began around 4 a.m., when officers were called to the 2300 block of Kelly Drive, just past the statue, for a report of a man screaming, Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/2_pulled_from_Schuylkill_River_.html#Pqt8zJw3YJCdDiCQ.99

Plans For Two Hotels At 15th & Chestnut Taking Shape

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

Next week, developers will present their designs for the W and Element Hotels planned for 15th and Chestnut streets to the Center City Residents Association. The presentation is for information only: The planned project requires no zoning variances and can be built by right.

According to a description shared with PlanPhilly by an attorney working on the project, the hotels will have a total of 755 rooms. There will be 295 rooms in the four-star W Hotel, and 460 rooms in the three-star, extended-stay Element by Westin. The entire hotel operation will be managed by Starwood, a Connecticut-based hospitality company.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/Plans_for_two_hotels_at_15th_and_Chestnut_taking_shape.html#P5wsWYOKxqO3JmVS.99

Seizing The Moment: Ajay Raju Thinks Philly’s On The Verge Of Greatness

English: no original description

English: no original description (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BORN IN INDIA – made in America, Ajay Raju likes to say.

He might not be a household name in Philadelphia, but drop it around any of the power brokers who make this city churn like a giant waterwheel and you’ve just made a friend.

He’s not in the Kennedy class yet, but Raju’s name is – and has been – getting a lot of traction.

He serves on more than a dozen nonprofit boards, gives his money away unabashedly to philanthropic causes and is constantly mulling the next big idea, such as a proposed online, citizen-based journalism project with former Daily News editor Larry Platt.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20140819_Seizing_the_moment__Ajay_Raju_thinks_Philly_s_on_the_verge_of_greatness.html#TrmQ1scDqCWpYTQc.99

VIDEO: Pottstown Man Arrested In Taped Beating At Philly’s Love Park

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140818/video-pottstown-man-oe-of-2-arrested-in-taped-beating-at-phillys-love-park

Skater Has No Love For Ranger At LOVE Park

LOVE Park

LOVE Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  The person of interest is apparently from Pottstown.  If any Pottstown peeps can identify this person, please call 215-686-TIPS (-8477).  Click on the read more link to see a video of the altercation.

REGULAR skaters at LOVE Park say they have a subtle truce with the rangers, a cat-and-mouse game of grinding along concrete steps when they’re gone and leaving peacefully with wheels up when they show up.

The skaters were OK with that, too, but now they fear that some “suburban kid who always acts hard” has ruined it for all of them by punching, kicking and spitting on a ranger who tried to get him and some other skaters to leave Friday afternoon.

“He’s an idiot,” skater Ki Realer, 34, said of the unidentified suspect, who is wanted by police on assault charges. “Not only are the police looking for him, but he’ll also never be welcome here again. Now we all know what’s coming for the rest of us.”

The incident happened about 5:30 p.m. Friday, police said – a day after a big antiviolence vigil in LOVE Park – and was witnessed by a large crowd that included Michael “Philly Jesus” Grant, who was profiled in a Daily News cover story on Aug. 8.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140818_Skater_has_no_love_for_ranger_at_LOVE_Park.html#QquJ4Q4Z5Lxcr2TE.99

George Takei Has A Bone To Pick With Wawa

Math: It’s hard, especially if you’re a convenience store like, say, Wawa. But don’t worry—best friend to the Internet, George Takei, is here to clear everything up.

Takei recently posted up an image of none other than a Wawa coffee cup to his massively popular Facebook page (7.4 million likes and counting) with a few sections underlined.

Yes, because math, indeed. Takei apparently took this perceived error to heart, calling the labels “rather misleading.” As you can imagine, the comments section of the post has gone into full-fervor mode, with Wawa’s endless line of zealots (AKA us) kindly—and not so kindly—explaining why, in fact, Wawa is never wrong. Like, ever.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/trending/George-Takei-has-a-bone-to-pick-with-Wawa.html#1PywPH7AR3VUCEkQ.99

Alleged Wife-Killer: ‘I Just Want This To Go Away’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

CHRISTOPHER Murray said his wife was “a beautiful woman; a loving, caring mother, a fabulous friend.”

No one in Northeast Philadelphia would dispute that. Connie Murray was all those things and more.

But before he clammed up on a Daily News reporter Wednesday night – the day police released autopsy results revealing that his wife had been slain – Murray said something else.

Not that he wanted the public’s help in tracking down her killer. He said he wanted to move on, one day after her body was found in Pennypack Park.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140811_Alleged_wife-killer___I_just_want_this_to_go_away_.html#XGqMX3aqZj8S1BSb.99