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Politically Tarnished Philadelphia Prepares for Democratic Convention, Demonstrators

July 25th, 2016 Comments off

Donkey._One_of_57_fibreglass_donkeys_around_Philly_representing_the_states,_teritories_and_Washington,_D.C. postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAs the city of Philadelphia cleans the streets and makes sure all the hotel rooms have super clean sheets to welcome the delegates to the Democratic National Convention, which begins Mon., July 25, swept under the rug are the political scandals that have rocked the Democrats across the state for the past decade.

Last month, longtime Philly Congressman, Chaka Fattah, was convicted of laundering federal grants and nonprofits to repay an illegal $1 million campaign loan, according to what hosted.ap.org tells MHProNews.

Former state Treasurer Rob McCord left office and pleaded guilty to attempted extortion.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been charged with unlawfully leaking secret grand jury information to a newspaper and lied about it under oath.

Further, in this overwhelming Democratic city, the former sheriff has been accused of conspiracy, traffic court judges have been convicted of ticket-fixing, and state lawmakers have admitted taking bribes.

Jeff Jubelirer, a communications consultant who has worked on Republican campaigns, said, From a messaging standpoint, it lines up well for the Trump forces to say crooked Hillary and crooked Philadelphia.”

Former Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa., rather dismissive of the scandals, said the dominance of one party can sometimes breed corruption. “We had corruption in 2012 and Barack Obama carried the city by 468,000 votes,” Rendell said.

Philadelphia was the site of the Abscam sting operation in the 1970s where members of Congress and other elected officials were caught on tape accepting illegal cash payments.

In the past ten years, former State Senator Vince Fumo, a Democrat, was convicted of defrauding the state Senate, a museum and a nonprofit of millions of dollars; and one time City Councilman Rick Mariano was convicted of accepting bribes.

The American home of democracy has been so rife with corruption that former Mayor Michael Nutter installed a “chief integrity officer” in an office near his, a practice that has continued with current Mayor Jim Kenney.

David Thornburgh, president of the nonpartisan good government group Committee of Seventy, noting a certain level of acceptance of corruption in Philly, said, “It’s not like we were moving along at one level and all at once there was a huge spike (in corruption). Somebody called it the Philly shrug. ‘Eh, it’s Philly.'”

Meanwhile, in addition to the delegates, the media onslaught and additional security, the city is also preparing for 35,000 to 50,000 protesters daily in different areas around Philly, according to articles.philly. Officials are suggesting businesses remove plants, flags and secure dumpsters lest demonstrators misappropriate them.

In addition to marches planned for Broad St. and Market St., visitors and delegates will be treated to live music daily from seven street-level-pop-up spaces along Broad St., combined with a mile-long canvas of art down the Broad St. median, sponsored by the Mural Arts project.

Some members of the Union League, an exclusive Republican club that for 100 years has flown Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Union League flags over its entrance. It did remove the flags during the 2008 World Series parade when store windows were smashed and large planters upended. Jeff McFadden, general manager of the League, said, “We want to be engaging even though we’re a Republican stronghold. Hopefully demonstrators will be peaceful and nice and not be wreaking havoc. But we’ll operate like normal. If the city says there’s massive protests and there’s issues then you take precautions to protect your property.”

Tiffany Newmuis, deputy chief of staff for the convention’s host committee, noting the city’s warnings, said, “Demonstration is a part of any type of convention like this. But the police have the intention of keeping things safe and we, as the host committee, have the intention of keeping things fun and delegates’ experience exciting.” ##

(Photo credit: artjawn–One of 57 fiberglass donkeys around Philly representing the states, territories and Washington, D. C.)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

All-cash Home Sales Fall Nationally, Save Several Metros

August 19th, 2014 Comments off

pending sale  paul sakuma  AP Photo creditAccording to RealtyTrac, all-cash deals comprised 38 percent of all home sales in the second quarter of 2014, a drop from 42 percent in Q1 2014, as institutional buyers—those buying at least ten homes annually—are finding good deals drying up. They accounted for 4.7 percent of all home sales, a drop from six percent in 2013, as CNNMoney reports. The good news is that as institutional buyers leave the market, there is more room for first-time homebuyers. But with home prices up over 20 percent from 2012 historic lows, the bad news is first-timers may already be priced out of the market. MHProNews has learned over 50 percent of all home sales in Las Vegas are for cash, and the percentage is only slightly lower in Detroit, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Cleveland and New York. In the Miami metro area cash sales comprised 64 percent of all home sales. ##

(Photo credit: Paul Sakuma/Associated Press)

The Fed Says Housing Market Slowly Rising

March 7th, 2013 Comments off

HousingWire informs MHProNews the Federal Reserve’s February Beige Book of growth in economic activity indicates the real estate market in almost all the districts recorded strong improvement as inventories shrank and home prices rose. While in Philadelphia low-end prices were firm or rising and the prices of high-end homes were falling, the districts of Boston, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, San Francisco and St. Louis showed modest gains overall. Home construction rose in most districts except in Kansas City where it remained unchanged. Multifamily building increased in several districts, but financing problems have stymied Atlanta and Cleveland in that regard.

(Photo credit: benzinga)

Appeals Courts Split over Rescission

February 8th, 2013 Comments off

As nationalmortgagenews tells MHProNews the Third Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled that a homeowner can file suit to rescind a mortgage past the statutory three-year limit providing they filed a notice within the three years. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a brief supporting the homeowner in the case. Of the four appeals courts to have ruled on this same issue, two have ruled in favor of the borrowers and two have favored the lenders, which increases the likelihood that at some point it will be heard before the Supreme Court.

(Image credit: National Equity Fund, Inc.)

Home Values Finally Show Gain

December 25th, 2012 Comments off

After analyzing 177 metro areas, real estate analyst Zillow tells HousingWire 75 percent showed home value gains in 2012. For the five years from 2007 to 2011 home values dropped each year, the largest occurring in 2008 when home values declined $3.2 trillion. This year the value of homes is expected to increase over $1.3 trillion in cumulative value, the first annual increase in six years when homes gained $483 billion. While 2011 home values fell over $792 billion from 2010, home price are expected to increase 3.1 percent in 2013. Metro areas that experienced the largest gains in value include Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., as well as Phoenix and Miami-Fort Lauderdale Fla. MHProNews has learned Philadelphia was the only large metro area that did not record an annual gain.

(Image credit: ehow)

High Income Residences for Low Income Residents

October 26th, 2012 Comments off

Philly reports low-income housing in a section of Philadelphia called Logan rivals high-income housing elsewhere. The three modular rowhouses are stylish and modern, and among the most energy efficient homes anywhere, with solar paneled roofs that reduce the energy consumption level to near zero, crucial for the poorest of the poor who will be living there. Developed by Onion Flats, the homes are the first in Pennsylvania to be certified by the Germany-based International Passive House Institute because their energy consumption is near zero. Stuffed with insulation and outfitted with Bosch appliances and European windows, a heat exchanger maintains a comfortable temperature inside the homes. Partnering with the nonprofit Raise of Hope, Onion Flats  set 25-foot deep piers to stabilize the modules because of Logan’s shifting soil. Costing $250,000 apiece, the five-bedroom homes will be occupied by families with incomes below $25,000 annually, MHProNews has been informed.

(Photo credit: Philly/Onion Flats)

Federal Reserve District Banks upbeat on Housing Market

September 3rd, 2012 Comments off

According to nationalmortgagenews all 12 Federal Reserve banks reported improvements in residential real estate in their districts, as noted in the Beige Book. Compiled on Aug. 20, the snapshot says the housing market is “positive with continued increases in activity expected.” While the Philadelphia and Kansas City banks remain cautious about the shadow inventory in their districts entering the market, the New York, Richmond and San Francisco branches have noticed a reduction in the number of distressed properties. Atlanta, Boston, and Dallas banks report inventory of homes for sale is declining, pushing prices up. As MHProNews has learned, at the same time, Boston, Cleveland, and Kansas City districts predict gains will be modest moving forward.

(Image credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia Slowdown

June 22nd, 2012 Comments off

MarketWatch reports the Philadelphia Federal Reserve in its June Business Outlook Survey states manufacturing in the region is down for this month as firms noted a decline in new orders and shipments. Employment remained nearly the same, but average hours fell. More companies experienced a decline in prices for their products than experienced increases. Compared to the Nov. 2011 survey, fewer companies expect to decrease their capital spending, but 60% more firms plan to keep their capital spending constant. MHProNews has learned the respondents expect business to pick up in the next six months.

(Photo credit: Joseph Kaczmarek/The Post-Standard)

 

Homes for Sale Inventory and Median Price both Fall

February 20th, 2012 Comments off

HousingWire tells MHProNews.com while 145 of 146 markets tracked by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed a drop in inventory of single-family homes, condos, and town homes by 23.2 percent in January 2012 from a year ago, the median list price fell $2,500 to $185,500 Dec. 2011 to Jan. 2012. Jan. 2011 the median list price was $189,248. Realtor.com says this shows the market is trying to stabilize. Springfield, IL was the lone market that had a year-over-year inventory increase. New York, Philadelphia, Hartford, CT, Syracuse, NY and El Paso, TX all showed insignificant drops in inventory indicating for sale inventory of housing remains high.

(Graphic credit: National Association of Realtors)

Modular Construction Preferred in Pennsylvania and New York

June 17th, 2011 1 comment

The New York Times notes that while the term prefab or modular has long conjured images of cheap and flimsy, today’s builders are learning that modular construction uses the same materials as traditional building, and can save 20 percent in costs as well as months of construction.  In Philadelphia, an 80,000 square foot, four-story modular building houses students attending Temple University. The developer of the Modules at Templeton said the $9.5 million project would have cost 25 percent more, and taken 15 months to build instead of eight, had it been done on site.  An eight-story modular apartment building is planned in another area of Philadelphia.  Work will start soon on a $6 million two-story modular child care facility for Lehman College in the Bronx.  The 20 modules will be trucked in from the factory in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and will be assembled within a week.  It will cost one half of site-built, and save half the time.  A 34-story modular apartment tower is being designed for the Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, a topic we covered here June 1.  Tom O’Hara, the director of business development for modular builder Capsys  Corp., in Brooklyn, says, “It never rains inside our building, it never snows.”