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Penns Landing Roller Rink This Summer; Nutter Allows 3D Billboards; Revel Casino Power Out
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 04/09/15 9:36 pm | updated: 04/09/15 10:00 pm
The Delaware River Waterfront Corp. announced two outdoor attractions for Penn's Landing opening Memorial Day Weekend. For the first time ever, it's the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest. At the same location of the popular Winterfest Ice Skating rink, enjoy an outdoor roller skating rink, a boathouse-styled Lodge, a play area for kids, tons of food and drink options and summer events throughout the season. Spruce Street Harbor Park will also return this year with a floating restaurant, weekend beer garden, hammocks, shuffleboard, colorful LED lights and so much more. Both areas offer free admission. Skating does require paid tickets. They open for the season on Friday, May 22nd through September.

Mayor Michael Nutter will allow for two new 3-D LED billboards to be built in Center City after some adjustments are made to how those Urban Experiential Displays or UED's are regulated. (see Nutter's letter below) The displays will be placed outside the Convention Center at Broad Street and at 12th and Arch across from Reading Terminal Market by Catalyst Outdoor Advertising of Malvern, PA. The bill's sponsor, Councilman Mark Squilla, added language to the bill today to address the mayor's concerns. The amendments give the Streets Department oversight of the displays. They also require the Planning Commission to make recommendations to the Art Commission who will approve the designs. The city will also now oversee the community benefits agreement between Catalyst and non-profits. Catalyst has agreed to pay $5.2 million per display to local non-profits. Also, while 70% of the content on the displays will be advertisements, 30% will be public service announcements, promotions from non-profits, and other content.

ACR Energy, the power supplier for the former Revel Casino in Atlantic City, cut off utility service to the $2.4 billion building Thursday afternoon. Florida developer Glenn Straub purchased the property on Tuesday and has been negotiating with the power plant on a deal. The utility is the sole provider of electricity and water for the building which went dark at 2:13 p.m. Without air conditioning there are concerns of mold growth and without heat pipes could burst. Straub recently purchased the neighboring Showboat Casino and is considering connecting to their power supply, but that could take week. In the meantime, he has ordered generator trucks. The fire department is monitoring the situation. Without electricity, backup batteries will die after a few hours. Any fire will be next to impossible to fight without water in the sprinklers or electricity to operate elevators.

A Philadelphia woman charged with trying to join ISIS was ordered held for trial today. 30-year-old Keonna Thomas, an unemployed mother of two, was arrested last week and charged with knowingly attempting to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. Thomas had planned to travel to the Middle East and join the terrorist organization, fight, and be killed as a martyr. The defense argued that she has strong family ties, no criminal record, and should be released with monitoring device. The federal magistrate agreed with prosecutors that she posed a flight risk and that she was a danger to the community and she be denied bail. Thomas had obtained a passport and plane tickets to Spain. She was also communicating with an Islamic State fighter about her travel plans and had many tweets about her desires to become a martyr.

Cloudy, temperatures around 45 this evening in Center City

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(2) responses


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 04/09 9:38 pm
Catalyst Outdoor Advertising Urban Experiential Displays UED


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 04/09 9:54 pm

I am hereby returning to your Honorable Body Bill Nos. 140906-A and 140907 without my signature. This pair of bills provides for the zoning, review, and permitting of “Urban Experiential Displays” or UEDs. These proposed electronic displays would carry advertising and other visual material.
I understand the concerns of those who have objected to UEDs, but also recognize that in certain locations, well-designed displays, compatible with their surroundings, may in fact add to the landscape. Bill Nos. 140906-A and 140907 are a start, but I have significant concerns about them.

Missing is any kind of design review capable of ensuring appropriateness. There is also no certainty that critical traffic safety issues will be taken into account for each and every proposal. And as the legislation now stands, community benefit agreements, which have been integral to this proposal from the start, would be unenforceable by the City, and provide zero accountability for either the developer or the community organization.

For these reasons, I cannot sign these bills at this time. However, the Sponsor—Councilman Mark Squilla—and members of my Administration have worked hard to resolve the outstanding issues. That resolution is embodied in a further bill Councilman Squilla is introducing today. It provides for rigorous review and approval of each UED to ensure the proposal is superbly-designed and appropriate to its location. It makes traffic safety a paramount requirement. And community benefits agreements can be enforced and overseen to provide real accountability. I support that bill, and will sign it.

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