Hundreds Rally to Change Hate Crime Law; Porny Emails in State Government; Peter Thiel Told Philly to Fix Aging

Newsletter for Sept. 26, 2014

RALLY IN LOVE PARK

The scene at the rally to revise Pennsylvania’s hate crime law, via Instagram user @beeknightly

HUNDREDS RALLY IN LOVE PARK TO CHANGE PENNSYLVANIA’S HATE CRIME LAW

“I’m trying not just to be angry — I want to be empowered,” Brian Sims, Pennsylvania’s first openly gay state rep., told a huge rally his office organized at LOVE Park in Center City on Thursday afternoon. City police officials and D.A. Seth Williams also spoke at the rally, a day after his office announced charges in what it called a “vicious attack” against three Bucks County residents in the attack on two gay men near Rittenhouse Square.

Editor’s note: Though Sims was the first openly gay man to be elected to the Pennsylvania House, Rep. Mike Fleck is actually the state’s first openly gay representative. He was already in office when he came out.

ENTIRELY TOO MANY STATE OFFICIALS WERE FORWARDING PORNY LINKS

At least eight state officials were in the habit of emailing around PowerPoints and videos with tasteful titles like “Cigar,” “Chin strap,” “Golf Ball washer,” “Nascar victory” and “Rocking Horse.” And all this happened on taxpayer-funded computers. Those were among the revelations in a Harrisburg news conference hosted by Attorney General Kathleen Kane, after a handful of reporters filed Right to Know requests. Those who received these winning emails included Frank Noonan, the current state police commissioner; E. Christopher Abruzzo, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, and Kevin Harley, formerly Gov. Tom Corbett’s top spokesman. Ladies and gentlemen, your tax dollars at work.

HOW TO RAISE CHICKENS IN KENSINGTON: A TALE OF URBAN FARMING

Nic Esposito’s first nonfiction book is called Kensington Homesteading. It’s a collection of 14 narrative essays that track his and his wife Elisa’s experience starting and maintaining an urban farm in, well, Kensington. The book “offers a raw and oftentimes absurdly funny view of growing food in a city,” according to publisher Head & the Hand Press, which is seeking 15 pre-orders of the book before the end of the week.

 


 TO DO: CLOSE OUT SPRUCE STREET HARBOR PARK

WHAT: A free Bardo Pond, Spacin’ and Needle Points concert to close out the wildly popular pop-up park on the Delaware Waterfront.

WHERE: 401 S. Columbus Boulevard at Spruce Street

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, 11 am – 1 am

HOW MUCH: Free

DETAILS HERE


BILLY PENN LIKES

PETER THIEL IN PHILLY: LET’S CURE AGING

Paypal founder and serial entrepreneur Peter Thiel (he invested in Facebook before you knew about it) thought big thoughts Monday in Philly, when he spoke at the Franklin Institute. Thiel was shilling a bit — he has a new book, Zero to One, after all. But he also wants people to start focusing on big problems, like getting older. “Aging is extremely understudied… Every disease is linked to aging, and these basic science questions are not being answered where there is a crossover to technology somewhere.”

HERE’S WHERE THE (REAL AND POTENTIAL) 2015 MAYORAL CANDIDATES LIVE

Ever wonder where Frank Rizzo, Jr. lives? Especially in comparison to Lynne Abraham, Ken Trujillo and Darrell Clark? PlanPhilly has you covered with its map showing where the real and speculated candidates for our next mayor are residing these days. Check it out.

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