October 9: SEPTA’s refund replacement | Amazon, U.S. manufacturing | Eastern Tower breaks ground

The replacement for SEPTA’s Service Guarantee program is more than a year away, WHYY News' Isobell Cristo reports. Passengers demanding refunds following the equipment failure and subsequent “loud bang” and self-evacuation in September were told that a replacement rewards program “will be conceptualized by the end of next year with implementation to follow sometime in 2019.” SEPTA discontinued the refund program for Regional Rail in 2016 following the Silverliner V trains fiasco.

While Amazon wreaks havoc on the retail and supplier industries, could the corporate giant bring back U.S. manufacturing? Amazon Woot!, the company’s latest venture in American consumption, describes itself as the “outpost on the fringes of the Amazon community” and uses cloth-printing machines to design, produce, and ship clothes within hours. The Inquirer’s Joseph N. DiStefano looks into how Woot!, which is installing at least 25 outposts in West Norriton Township near Norristown, makes it “good business to make clothes in America again.”

Streets Dept checks out the latest Monument Lab installation, a dialectically tethered uprooted tree and a large excavator wrapped in reflective chrome film by artist duo Recycled Artist in Residency (RAIR). On display through November 19th in Penn Treaty Park, Plainsight Is 20/20 aims to spur discourse on Philly’a growth and prosperity through the lens of waste, recuperation, industry, and development.

Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation’s highly anticipated Eastern Tower project broke ground Friday, Melissa Romero reports. Described as “one of the most complicated projects in Philadelphia,” the $75 million, 20-story apartment, office, and commercial building will also provide the neighborhood’s first community and rec center. Anna Perng recently shared Chinatown’s struggles with public space for its growing population, begging the question: where do neighborhoods without existing parks stand in the Rebuild initiative?

ISO: public input: Chester County’s planning commission is seeking input as it begins planning the western extension of the Chester Valley Trail, CBS reports. The extension would connect the trail to the Enola Low Grade in Lancaster County, which would allow folks to go from Philadelphia to Harrisburg all on trails. Commission director Brian O’Leary says that currently “there is no obvious right of way once past Downingtown.”

About the author

Diana Lu

Diana has spent more than ten years in the non-profit and public sectors working on urban development issues including environmental justice, design-based manufacturing, and community and economic development.  Prior to joining PlanPhilly, Diana worked as the Director of Partnerships and Outreach for 10,000 Small Businesses, a public-private initiative focused strengthening local businesses through revenue generation and local job creation.  Follow Diana on instagram @dianaluwho.

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