No SEPTA strike… for now; These 14 parishes might close; Amazing pix from an abandoned Philly graveyard

Newsletter for Oct. 14, 2014

INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY

The Industrious Light mural, under construction. Via Instagram user @phillynightowl

NO SEPTA REGIONAL RAIL STRIKE; BUS & TROLLEY DRIVER ON WORST PARTS OF JOB

After a looong five years of talks — and a one-day walkout this summer, followed by the intervention of a second Presidential emergency board — SEPTA and its railroad engineers have a tentative deal for a new contract. The proposal (which is for 5 years, but pretty much covers the last four retroactively) isn’t finalized, but it’s close. But SEPTA’s largest union, covering bus and trolley drivers, is still rumbling about its own strike. They’re arguing over healthcare, pensions and how grievances are handled.  Meanwhile, Philly Mag’s latest anonymous interview is with a SEPTA bus and trolley driver, and it’s a doozy. (Keep in mind, this person’s been working without a contract since March.) There’s some great opinions about why Philly’s reputation for meanness is outsized, but the best parts include the most disgusting thing ever encountered on the job — and the biggest passenger pet peeves.

THESE 14 PHILLY PARISHES MIGHT MERGE OR CLOSE

Another bunch of Philadelphia parishes are on the chopping block, as the Archdiocese continues to look at how to consolidate the faithful. This time the flock is spread too thin in Port Richmond, as well as in towns in Delaware and Montgomery counties. “You see the declining attendance each week,” Mary DeAngelis told The Inquirer in June at the last Mass at Holy Spirit in South Philadelphia. “You could practically count heads from your pew here.”


TO DO: DRINK AND DO SPOOKY SCIENCE STUFF AT THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE

WHAT: “Science After Hours: Monster Mash-up.” Think the real-life science behind Dracula and Frankenstein movies, but with cocktails.
WHERE: The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St
WHEN: 6:30-9:30 PM
HOW MUCH: $15; $10 for members
DETAILS HERE


BILLY PENN LIKES

THIS GUY SECRETLY SWAM THROUGH CAMDEN

Baron Ambrosia (hey, the New York Times says it’s his real name!) wanted to do something good for Camden, Philly’s across-the-river neighbor. So he took it upon himself to swim 5 miles of the Cooper, a tributary of the Delaware River. The Times followed Ambrosia on his quest; the reactions from Camden’s residents are kind of great.

8 AMAZING PHOTOS FROM AN ABANDONED PHILLY CEMETERY

Mount Moriah Cemetery closed in 2011, and isn’t being maintained. But the Victorian-era graveyard, which straddles Philadelphia and Delaware counties, is still spookily magnificent. Slate has posted some great pictures of what it’s like after three years of neglect.

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