Philadelphia Gas Works is notifying customers that it is open to competition – but no other providers are extending offers to PGW's residential customers. "Pennsylvania's Gas Choice program allows customers to choose a natural gas supplier other than PGW, and potentially save money!" the letter exclaims. But no other options are available in Philadelphia. Providers are staying out of the Philadelphia residential market because of record low natural-gas prices and PGW's high rate of uncollectible bills. "Suppliers just can't make the numbers work," said Tony Cusati, state gas caucus chair for the Retail Energy Supply Association. Read more
Lynne M. Abraham, the former district attorney who fainted on stage at a televised mayoral debate last year, can relate to Hillary Clinton's collapse Sunday. "I was watching and saw it and said, 'Hey, the same thing happened to me!'" Abraham said of the Democratic presidential nominee's incident at the Sept. 11 memorial. Abraham said her fainting "didn't help me at all" among voters or pundits, and attributed some of the reaction she and Clinton received to sexism. ""This kind of thing happens to the young and old, to males and females, to young men on a golf course," Abraham said. Read more
Baxter's Best, a Saint Benjamin Brewing Company beer, is formulated to take advantage of Philadelphia's tap water – which experts say is ideal for brewing English-style ales like Baxter's. The water contains moderate levels of calcium and alkalinity, helping maintain the proper pH during the "mash" phase of brewing. "That really reminds me of the old-school London waters," Colin Kaminski, co-author of Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers, said of Philadelphia's water profile. Brewery owner Tim Patton will speak at a pop-up beer garden tonight about the city's water. Read more
The heads of pins that are just 1/32nd of an inch too wide are SEPTA's latest setback in returning its Regional Rail fleet to full service. The transit agency, which pulled 120 Silverliner V cars after a structural deficit was discovered in July, now has to replace the pins on 18 repaired cars that had either returned to service or were expected to do so soon. The pin heads were slightly too wide, so they sometimes scraped against the metal of the train cars' trucks. That didn't cause an immediate safety concern, but created the potential for friction that could ultimately lead to uneven stress distribution on the car trucks. Read more
Philadelphia businesses could soon be fined or shut down for patrons' bad behavior. Under a new so-called Nuisance Business Bill, businesses can be cited for nuisance behaviors – illegal consumption of alcohol, drug activity, obstructing a sidewalk, gambling, loitering, public urination, prostitution, littering, and parking vehicles on sidewalks – on their property and the abutting sidewalk or street. "They're responsible for what happens on the sidewalks outside of their business," said Councilwoman Cindy Bass, who introduced the legislation. "They're responsible for the climate they are creating, based on the type of business they are operating." Read more