Jan Von Bergen at the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that work on Comcast’s new tower came to a halt this morning when striking members of Local 542 picketed the Comcast tower project and other union trades refused to cross the picket line. However, this show of solidarity (during the afternoon on the Friday before the Fourth of July) is unlikely to last past the long weekend. Why? Because any conduct by Local 542 aimed at encouraging a work stoppage by other union members is illegal and the companies that employ the sympathetic union members are in breach of contract if they do not work on Tuesday.
Sadly, in Philadelphia, the City that gave birth to the United States Constitution, respect for the Constitution by government officials is woefully lacking. Luckily, the United States Federal Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which sits in Philadelphia, has served as a bulwark to Philadelphia bureaucrats who ignore the individual freedoms the Constitution guarantees. Last week, Judge Michael Baylson handed economic liberty advocates a huge win in Checker Cab Philadelphia v. The Philadelphia Parking Authority. The importance of the decision has national implications.
The National Review recently published an article about the wide ranging economic and social impacts of the death of traditional mid-market shopping malls. The article is not overtly political and at time waxes nostalgic about the prototypical 1980’s shopping mall. However, the article highlights real problems facing the owners of these malls and other traditional shopping centers.
When I left Philadelphia, I thought I had largely left NIMBY zoning disputes behind. However, I quickly learned that the Main Line NIMBY is simply a tiger of a different stripe (and better financed and represented than their Philadelphia brethren).
One dispute that recently caught my attention concerns the proposed demolition of a 120 year old church in Narberth. A developer wishing to demolish a church and develop apartments and drawing the ire of certain neighbors is something that is routine in Point Breeze or Fishtown. However, apparently the same is true on the Main Line. At issue in the case, is a restriction contained in a 1891 deed that apparently states that only a church can be built on the property. (The article discussing the case does not quote the precise language of the purported restriction.)