Morning roundup

Sky-high water bills; Philly election official testifies; RIP world-famous car collector | Morning roundup

BlackStar Film Festival returns this summer 📽️

Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

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As Philly replaces water meters, sky-high bills and shutoffs

As the Water Department upgrades its meters, some residents are getting hit with thousand-dollar bills after being unknowingly undercharged for months.

  • It’s the customer’s responsibility to notice if their bills aren’t accurate, a spokesperson told Billy Penn. The upgrade to “smart meters,” a 3-year effort that’s one-third complete, is intended to fix the disparity.

Others had their water shut off because of scheduling issues, reports Lizzy McLellan Ravitch, though the change is supposed to improve billing.

RIP Fred Simeone, world-famous car collector in Southwest Philly

Legendary car collector Frederick Simeone, a retired Penn neurosurgeon whose love of autos grew into a lifelong passion, died last week at 86.

  • Simeone’s collection was ranked No. 1 in the world, surprising even him. “You have Ralph Lauren, Sam Walton, Peter Sachs … and me, from Kensington,” he told Billy Penn in 2019.

What he did with the collection was perhaps even more notable: he turned it into an Southwest Philly museum and used it to advocate for better driver’s ed.

March On: The Fight for Pride

Podcast by Billy Penn reporter Michaela Winberg
Out now: Ep. 3: “Who is Franny?”  | Next up: Ep. 4, June 16

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled


Mayor Kenney greets President Biden (10:30 a.m.), who visits Center City today for the annual AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention, which started Sunday and lasts through tomorrow.


🥪 BP Quizzo is in Chestnut Hill this month! Join us at the top of cobblestoned Germantown Avenue as we take over Tavern on the Hill for a night of Philly trivia with happy hour specials and prizes. Tickets are free with RSVP. (6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 21)

🏳️‍🌈 Join Billy Penn reporter Michaela Winberg, host of “March On,” for happy hour at Cockatoo in the Gayborhood, with a drag performance by VinChelle followed by a discussion of modern Pride. Free with RSVP. (5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 15)

💵 The first Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll of the season sees dozens of vendors, restaurants, and artists offering specials for $1 and up for an extended happy hour along the West Philly corridor. (5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 16)

🙌🏿 Celebrate Juneteenth with the Pennsylvania Juneteenth Initiative as they throw the largest parade and celebration in the nation. Festivities will take over West Philly’s Malcolm X Park, with dance performances, DJs, and family-friendly crafts happening all day long. (12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, June 19).

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