Marijuana Bill Passes Council; Spring Garden Preps Block Party, Just #MeetBillyPenn Already

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MAYOR IN THE HOT SEAT

What’s left for the marijuana decriminalization bill? The mayor’s signature. via Instagram user @mleffphoto

Newsletter for Sept. 19

REMEMBER THE POT BILL? COUNCIL TOTALLY PASSED THAT

Philly is on the way to being a pot-friendly town. Well, a less-pot-unfriendly town, anyway. Yesterday City Council (finally) passed the marijuana bill on a 14 to 2 vote. The measure makes possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana a civil offense punishable with a $25 fine — but no arrest, and no criminal record. The big difference, The Inquirer‘s Chris Hepp notes, is a separate civil offense for public use — and that one quadruples the fine to $100, or means offenders spend a day doing community service. In other words, even when this sucker gets signed, spark up indoors.

BLOCK PARTY TIME ON THE SPRING GARDEN GREENWAY

Dozens of residents and business owners on the 900-block of Spring Garden are holding a block party there tomorrow — so look for drinks, food and music there. But that’s not the only reason for the party. They’re trying to drum up support for a $20.3 million permanent greenway there, which they say will bring $40 million in economic benefits to the area. So they’re building a temporary version of their vision, with a design demonstration for the project’s future.

#MEETBILLYPENN: LAST CHANCE FOR THIS WEEK’S OFFICE HOURS

We’re headed back to coffee houses around the city today — if you want to learn, face to face, what Billy Penn is aiming to do, now’s your chance. (We’ll still be around — we’re about to get very busy building this thing, though!) So come see Anna Orso, our reporter/curator, at La Colombe, 1414 S. Penn Square from 10am-12pm; our community manager, Shannon McDonald, at Lovers & Madmen, 28 S. 40th St., 12-2pm, or Chris Krewson, our editor, at Cafe Ole, 147 N. Third St., Old City, 12-2pm. Miss us this week? Don’t fret — we’ll schedule a nighttime version in the near future. (Warning: May contain alcohol.)


TO DO: GO PICK APPLES

WHAT: Head to an orchard or farm and grab the fruit of the season.
WHEN: This weekend — or whenever you have time to cruise out and back.
WHERE: Curbed Philly has a handy map-sicle of 10 likely locations in the Pa. and South Jersey ‘burbs.
HOW MUCH: Varies based on the farm
DETAILS HERE


BILLY PENN LIKES

QUEEN LANE APARTMENT DEMOLITION: THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE BOOM

It took just 15 seconds for the 16-story Germantown apartment complex to collapse to earth. How’d they DO that? “If we remove those in a sequence, and in a form marching back through the building,” Jim Santoro, project manager for Maryland’s Controlled Demolotions, Inc. told WHYY’s NewsWorks, “we can actually control the timing and the rate of failure and the direction of the fall.” The two ingredients? Explosives and gravity.

SAY GOODBYE TO THE WILD TURKEY AND THE BALTIMORE ORIOLE

Remember, another colonial Ben (Franklin) wanted to make the turkey the national bird. Sadly, the Audubon Society reports that this noble animal may not be long for Pennsylvania — not to mention Cal Ripken’s team’s namesake. Why? Climate change. There’s a depressingly long list of birds that’s helpfully searchable and sortable here — as well as a place to drop your email, and pledge to help.

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Editor


Chris Krewson is the executive director of LION Publishers, a national nonprofit association that serves local journalism entrepreneurs build sustainable news organizations, and the founding editor of Billy Penn. He lives in Havertown.