Thursday, August 28, 2014
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Penn Praxis Study Of Riverfront Casinos Starts Tonight

Penn Praxis, the academic group asked by Mayor Nutter last month to study whether two proposed riverfront casinos fit into the city's plans to redevelop the banks of the Delaware River, gets to work on that task tonight.

Penn Praxis Study Of Riverfront Casinos Starts Tonight

Harris Steinberg
Harris Steinberg

Penn Praxis, the academic group asked by Mayor Nutter last month to study whether two proposed riverfront casinos fit into the city's plans to redevelop the banks of the Delaware River, gets to work on that task tonight.  The group, part of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design, will hold a working dinner with a group of five experts trying to answer this question:  "Do the casinos as currently designed comply with the goals, values and principals of the Civic Vision?"

To the casino developers, that's a rigged game.  Foxwoods in South Philly and SugarHouse in Fishtown have refused to participate, citing comments from Penn Praxis executive director Harris Steinberg and Nutter last month that were very critical of the casino plans.  Steinberg notes that he has never said casinos can't exist on the riverfront, just that they don't fit as they are currently designed.  The Penn Praxis study continues tomorrow and Thursday.

Nutter has embraced the Penn Praxis vision for the waterfront and hopes to radically change the Penn's Landing Corp., a secretive non-profit set up by Philadelphia to manage city-owned land along the riverfront.  Following through on his plan to convert the agency into an "open, transparent and accountable waterfront manager," Nutter issued a call today for people interested in serving on its board.  The agency is being renamed the Delaware Waterfront Corporation and expanding its focus to the riverfront from Allegheny Avenue to the north to Oregon Avenue to the south.

Anyone interested in applying to serve on the board can email DelawareWaterfront@phila.gov or send an application to the Mayor's Office, care of Katherine Gajewski, City Hall, Room 204, Philadelphia, PA, 19107.

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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