Newsletter for Oct. 13, 2014
COLUMBUS DAY PARADE
At the 2014 Columbus Day Parade in Philadelphia, which was one of the first U.S. cities to make celebration of the holiday kind of a big deal, per the Philadelphia Encyclopedia. Photo courtesy Don Groff.
SEPTA: OBAMA WADES IN AGAIN ON RAIL, & ‘REAL POSSIBILITY’ OF SUBWAY/BUS STRIKE
Today a new 3-member emergency board appointed by President Obama will try again to mediate contract talks between SEPTA and its regional rail engineers and electricians. It’s the second time the Prez has stepped in — in June, after the regional rails shut down for a day, the first emergency board recommended smaller raises than the engineers wanted. So NOPE, back to the drawing board. Oh, and lest we forget another union problem brewing: The TWU, which handles buses and subways (and is bigger than the regional rail, FYI) has been working without a contract since March. They and SEPTA don’t see eye to eye on pensions, health care and grievances. Chief Willie Brown told the Pennsylvania Business Journal there’s a “real possibility” of a subway and bus strike if talks don’t get better soon.
POLICE: DRUNK WOMAN STOLE PROSTHETIC LEG AT EAGLES GAMEThis happened while you were sleeping: Sonny Forriest Jr., a wheelchair-bound veteran who sings outside Lincoln Financial Field before Eagles games, told police a drunk woman in her 20s took off with his prosthetic leg. “She jumped in my lap,” Forriest Jr. said. “She gripped my leg and I didn’t even know it. I looked down and she took my leg! Then she disappeared! A young lady came up, snatched my leg off my chair and took off!” In a related development, a SEPTA conductor found a prosthetic leg at the Fern Rock Transportation Center… you know, the other end of the Broad Street line. So now Forriest has his leg back. BTW, this isn’t the first time Forriest’s prosthetic leg has been stolen. It happened in the ’90s, too.
WTF DEPARTMENT: 3 BOYS CHARGED IN TWO CITY ASSAULTS
It started in Center City, when (police say, per the Inquirer) three kids on bikes — one 16-year-old and two 12-year-olds — stopped in front of a car waiting at a red light at 18th and Lombard streets. The driver and passenger, from Fairmount, were somewhat surprised when one of the boys yanked open the passenger door and tried to pull the woman out. Naturally, the driver threw the car into reverse to get the hell out of there, backing into several car mirrors as his assailants tossed rocks his way. A few hours later, a 24-year-old Francisville man saw the boys hitting the side mirrors of parked cars. He confronted them; they splashed him with water and cold-cocked him, knocking him out. (He was hospitalized; they’d fractured his jaw.) Cops caught up with the Terrible Three in the 600 block of Spring Garden, and charged them with aggravated and simple assault, plus criminal conspiracy.
ICYMI: 2 ARRESTED IN RITTENHOUSE, DREXEL BIKE THEFTS
Meet Robert Kradzinski and John Starson; police have charged the pair with multiple bike thefts after they ran from a Drexel patrol Thursday. Police say the men had just swiped a pair of bikes at 2 pm in broad daylight in the 3300 block of Market Street. They also charged the men, who are homeless, with stealing a couple of bikes in the 200 block of South 18th Street on Sunday, Oct. 5.
TO DO: TELL A GREAT STORY, MAYBE WIN $100
WHAT: First Person Arts’ StorySlam, a storytelling contest for a $100 prize.
WHERE: World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street
WHEN: Doors open at 7:30 PM
HOW MUCH: $10; $8 for First Person Arts members
RUNNING THE NUMBERS AT EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY
The Halloween season is a big deal at Philly’s Eastern State Penitentiary. How big? As the Philadelphia Business Journal reports, some 280,000 visitors passed through last year, and its annual “Terror Behind the Walls” scarefest provides more than 65 percent of the nonprofit’s annual operating budget. (Bonus: Pictures and video of staffers in costume.)
TWITTER ACCOUNT OF THE WEEK: @TEMPLEMAKEOUTS
The account’s location: Basements in North Philly. Its content: Photo after photo of college students deep in, er, discourse. Some 2,000 posts worth, actually. Ah, college.