Archive for the ‘Bidness’ Category

First the tragedy on Market Street and more recently an excavation cave-in on South Street,  and just last year there was another L&I demolition debacle in West Philadelphia. Heck, you can go all the way back to 2006 and see that there was a serious building boom (boom as in the noise a building makes when it collapses) where, on many occasions, L&I gave developers a pass.

L&I does not seem to protect neighborhoods from reckless developers, so often the local civic association becomes the watchdog for hazardous or inappropriate projects.  Now it seems these heedless gentrifiers can simply shut down neighborhood groups that become bothersome like they did in Old City.  It’s called a SLAPP lawsuit and it’s chilling.

Having a city government with lax oversight of construction, coupled with bad laws that render even citizens’ groups powerless to stop bad development is a dangerous game…

citizencrush

The blog, philadelinquency, has found a lot of dirt in the rubble of today’s collapse…A concerned citizen reported this accident-waiting-to-happen a MONTH AGO and L&I never responded.  Even AFTER the building collapsed, philly311 appeared to continue blowing off this citizen re: his complaint about the building.

So whaddaweknow so far?  L&I is notorious for not properly enforcing code violations on properties owned by connected (or maybe, bribe-offering?) “developers.”  (Just ask folks in Queen Village whose homes are being damaged as we speak)

The owner of the demolition company is a crook who, apparently, didn’t actually acquire the permit himself.  That task fell to an architect who is associated with  other slumlords in the city.   And the purported owner of the collapsed property is a porn monger from New York.  There’s lots more, but it’s making us dizzy…

phillyhouseocards

CONSPIRACY THEORY ALERT!!! Maybe this was no accident after all.  Looks like the porn king, Basciano, was trying to buy out the Salvation Army, but they refused to sell…This wouldn’t be the first time a guy like Basciano “leaned on” a little guy for  “business” purposes…

With so many city employees paid to surf the net, is it surprising that google maps street view is the basis for the city’s Actual Value Initiative?  Okay, that seems a little farfetched, but nakedphilly has some evidence.  And they’re not the only one’s questioning the accuracy of the calculations, even Councilman Squilla thinks the process may be flawed.

Paying more in a city with poor services can certainly be taxing, but you’d hope the process would at least be based on solid real estate data…

AVIphiladelphia

 

Are we supposed to believe the city just now found Yuengling’s bill in a pile on somebody’s desk?  The timing of this is curious, nobody downtown is saying much, and trying to determine what’s really going on is complicated…

Local 830 of the Teamsters Union was the bargaining unit at the brewery, but they were decertified back in 2006.  (It should be noted that this is the same Philly-based union that fiercely opposed Mayor Nutter’s “destructive” soda tax back in 2011.) There are claims that Dick Yuengling threatened to shut down the Pottsville  plant and ship the jobs elsewhere if the workforce didn’t dump the union.  However, there are some who think this is simply not true.  But just last fall there were reports that Dick was in fact considering a move.  Plenty of PA folks don’t want to lose this iconic brand so cutting the owner a business break might be something state legislators would do.  Is Yuengling strong-arming the state for some public money?

Meanwhile, the Teamsters are not happy with Yuengling. The local’s PAC has supported Larry Farnese, Patrick Murphy and Mike O’Brien, so they probably have broad political support in this union town.  Has pressure been exerted on city hall to support the Teamsters?  Is it possible Yuengling really is fleeing the state, so we’re gonna give them a kick in the ass before they go? Is this Philly’s way of saying f**k you, we don’t need your crappy beer (and with Yards, Dock Street, and Flying Fish we’re probably right)?

This being Philly and union business, I suspect there’s more to come and it ain’t gonna be pretty…

Hey, Dick.  What's worse than finding A horse's head in your bed...?

Hey, Dick. What’s worse than finding A horse’s head in your bed…?

It’s curious that this news coincides with the Constitution Center’s  exhibit on Prohibition

Our cosmopolitan governor is once again trying to sell off the state’s liquor stores (maybe after he went to France he adopted a more laissez faire attitude toward demon rum).  This attempt at privatization has been unsuccessfully proposed many times…

Our laws were crafted back in Prohibition days so it’s way past time to modernize them.  Why has it taken so long?  Well, for starters there are going to be plenty of well-connected losers if the old system is dismantled:  beer distributors, some douchebags on the PLCB, and possibly the store owners just over the borders of Delaware and NJ.  But us consumers might just be a little better off in local stores where the employees know SOMETHING about the products they sell.

PAliquorlaws

 

The Internet has finally succeeded in killing off the last of the porno palaces.  No more sitting in the dark with a bunch of other pervs with your feet sticking to the floor.  Everybody now just gets their smut online – alone in their homes without the tender touch of fellow film goers.  Alas, another shared social activity destroyed by the digital revolution.  There are, surprisingly,  a couple of melancholic reviews of the theater online.

The Forum theater opened in the swinging 70s and amazingly, given it’s piece of real estate, survived into the 21st century.  Philly mag has a “research” piece on The Forum which is fascinating…

So how will this seedy block improve now that the adult establishments have been exxxpunged?   The current owner has a few suggestions, including a yarn store.  Hmmm, that conjures up a whole new image when you hear yarn bombing…

knittingporn

The problem with modern day porn films is that they lack a good yarn…

 

Links: boobytrap, cozy, pillowboobs, beanis

 

Rick Santorum, along with his Patriot Voices, is challenging Americans to BUY AMERICAN this Christmas.  You got that right, CHRISTMAS, not HOLIDAY.  It’s a great patriotic idea and, for you naysayers, as easy as mincemeat pie.  There are even websites devoted to “Made in the USA” products, and what a great selection there is!  Every Tom, Rick, and Harry has a Nintendo or X-Box or tablet computer.  Imagine how excited any family member might be to see a peristaltic pump in their stocking!  Or the delight on a child’s face when he unwraps a wooden train whistle (you don’t get any more analog than that)!  And the whole, 2-parent, non-gay family will create lasting memories when they gather ’round to play the “Our America” trivia game.

 Yes, there are going to be at least 2,580 lucky recipients on Christmas day – that’s how many neocon-sumers have taken the Challenge!  Learn more about it straight from the source – Rick Santorum at his new blog site.

 Now, if only there was the perfect holiday mix tape as background while you’re shopping the American way…

In an attempt to, perhaps, make their web site more fun, Philadelphia’s Licenses and Inspections department has created online interactive maps.  But it seems their GIS programmers may have gotten a little carried away with some of the online data.  Gun owners did not like their names and addresses popping up next to a gun icon on a map and may sue the city.  (Though there is some evidence these are not exactly the folks we want exercising their 2nd Amendment rights in the neighborhood…)

Putting all that extra info on their maps is really quite industrious for a department that some city officials think is not even doing what they’re supposed to.  And a searchable map with pertinent data does provide a service to citizens.  Let’s just hope they’ve cleaned up any other  inappropriate or embarrassing data points…