Newsletter for Friday, Dec. 5
WELL IF WE’RE PAINTING IT ANYWAY…
Curbed Philly wonders whether, in the $100 million deal to repaint and repair the Commodore Barry Bridge, the color is in play; here’s one suggestion. (Details below.)
SO MUCH FOR ‘ENERGY HUB’: CONNECTICUT BUYER PULLS OFFER TO BUY GAS WORKS
The deal Mayor Michael Nutter made with Connecticut-based UIL Holdings to buy the Philadelphia Gas Works is officially dead. On Thursday, UIL pulled out deal, weeks after City Council declined to bring the issue to a vote. Darrell Clarke, the president of City Council (and a rumored mayoral candidate) says the mayor acted unilaterally and didn’t bring Council along. Money Clarke quote: “Such a shortsighted deal that did not address the concerns of the approving authority, in this case City Council, never had a chance of winning our endorsement.” (We’d argue that the approving authority is Philadelphia voters, who gave both Nutter and Council their jobs, and never got a say via public hearings since Council just pulled a “NOPE.” But hey, your mileage may vary.) What’s the big deal? Nutter’s office estimated the sale would beef up the city’s chronically underfunded pension fund by half a billion dollars (with a “B”). The other goal of Nutter and the city’s Chamber of Commerce was revitalizing the aging Gas Works in a bid to bring more jobs here and create an “energy hub.” Would that have worked? Nobody’s really sure.
LITTLE PETE’S GETS A STAY OF EXECUTION — AT LEAST THROUGH THE NEXT ELECTION
Remember when everyone was pissed that Center City’s iconic diner Little Pete’s, a breakfast staple that’s sat at the corner of 17th and Chancellor for 34 years, was going to be razed to make way for a new hotel? Yeah, well the diner’s been saved… for now. The plan to build the 12-story hotel was put on hold after Councilman Kenyatta Johnson pulled back a rezoning bill for the property, according to Plan Philly. The bill won’t be heard again until early next year, likely in January or February — just in time for when campaigning for the primary election will heat up. Remember: Kenyatta Johnson’s being challenged for his seat on council by Ori Feibush, the controversial Point Breeze developer who’s running on a millennial-centric platform. And you can bet Little Pete’s will be part of the pre-primary politicking.
BROWSE THROUGH ALL THE FANCY TOYS THE PENTAGON GAVE OUR COPS
Seen any active mines in Pottstown lately? Well if you have, be sure to let the local police know. The department of this Montgomery County borough happen to have a “Mine Resistant Vehicle” worth $733K they scored from the Pentagon (the Chester police got one, too). For the last 20 years, the Pentagon has been giving these extra toys – grenade launchers, tanks, bomb disposal robots (!?), etc. – to local police departments. The folks over at The Marshall Project have created a handy database that lets you see what every state and every department has received. (The story on the equipment is pretty great, too.) As a state, Pennsylvania has received over $11 million worth of equipment from the Pentagon. The Philly Police Department’s take has been modest — at least compared to Pottstown. The city got an armored truck, a couple-hundred rifles and some magazine cartridges, valued at just over $100K.
TO DO: SHOP THE PUNK ROCK FLEA MARKET
WHAT: The Punk Rock Flea Market, more than 500+ vendors — and it’s a totally different group each weekend day.
WHERE: 461 N. 9th Street
WHEN: 10 am – 5 PM, Saturday and Sunday
HOW MUCH: $3 for the whole weekend
BILLY PENN LIKES
SEARCH AT YOUR OWN RISK: INSPECTIONS FOR 4K PHILLY RESTAURANTS
We understand if you’re nervous to search for your fav neighborhood joint on City Paper’s handy new searchable database of many of Philadelphia’s eateries. We were, too. But fear not — the CP‘s writers explain that in general, Philadelphia actually fared well, with 77 percent scoring better or equal to the industry average. Yes, that includes most of the well-known restaurants owned by Stephen Starr, Jose Garces and Mark Vetri. But be careful when searching neighborhood pubs and pizza places…
WHAT IF THE COMMODORE BARRY BRIDGE WAS GLITTERY GOLD?
The Commodore Barry Bridge is getting a paint job (that’s the one that connects Chester with South Jersey, and can be seen from PPL Park). A three-phase, five-year, $100 million paint job. There’s no word on what color the bridge will end up (probably a boring not-quite-blue-or-green-off-whitish). But Curbed Philly is having some fun with it. They’re offering an imaginary $100 mil painting contract to readers in exchange for color ideas. Curbed suggests glittery gold. We suggest, ahem, teal.