Archive: February, 2010
Finding a person to fill Jane Pepper’s large and well-worn gardening shoes is not an easy task. But the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society appears to have located a person who is perfectly suited to build on Pepper’s fine legacy.
A strict new menu labeling law in Philadelphia is a good first step toward providing consumers with information to make healthier choices.
The measure, requiring chain restaurants in the city to list calorie counts on menus, is being hailed as one of the strictest in the country.
Critics contend that the law goes too far and creates added costs on businesses. But similar measures in other cities, such as New York, have helped to change eating habits.
New Jersey has passed a similar law, which takes effect next year. A bill proposed in Harrisburg is pending.
Even if it begins with baby steps — a 230-calorie doughnut instead of one with 290 calories — the change could make a difference over time.
You hate to see the city lose any jobs, but few will be crushed if a scrap yard moves from South Philadelphia to Delaware County.
The eyesore, owned by Camden Iron & Metal Inc., greets visitors entering the city via the George C. Platt Bridge.
It’s right across from the pretzel vendors, at 26th Street and Penrose Avenue.
The decision by District Attorney Seth Williams to lodge murder charges against a former police officer who shot a Port Richmond man sends a welcome message that there really is a new sheriff in town.
Perhaps the biggest news to come out of this stormy winter may be the birth of what SEPTA could well call its “one-way guarantee.”
It works this way: SEPTA says it will get riders to their destination, but can’t promise a return trip.
The agency’s aim, according to SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney, is to avoid stranding both passengers and vehicles in the midst of a big storm. The policy was implemented during Saturday’s snow storm. Maloney said it worked well: No passengers were stranded, and only a fraction of the usual number of buses had to be towed.
The policy appears to be a case of one step forward and two back.
Riders rely on SEPTA especially during extreme weather conditions. The region’s sprawling rail network, in particular, is nothing short of a transit lifeline. (The agency does plan to keep the Broad Street Subway and Market-Frankford El running throughout storms.)
The new policy is jarring, given the regional rail lines, trolleys and buses have plowed through snow, sleet and rain for decades. Now riders must cope with a huge uncertainty. Essentially providing one-way service is impractical and unreliable.
That’s not to say SEPTA must run regardless of the conditions. The recent storms have made travel extremely dangerous. But that is not the norm.
Going forward, it is unclear what weather conditions would call for the shutdown of the rails. How would SEPTA get the word out?
The current storm will provide more information on how this policy will work, or won’t work. (By 5 p.m. today, bus lines are to be taken out of service and there are advisories up for a number of rail lines.) But it’s clear the policy may need to be tweaked, or even scrapped.
At the very least, perhaps it would be better if SEPTA designated key regional rail lines as “lifeline” routes that would only be shutdown under the most dire circumstances. The agency may have other ideas on how to improve this policy from a customer-service standpoint.
One thing’s clear: A one-way ride is useless.