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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
RECAP: What else happened?
$ = paywalled
- Former Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt, a Republican, testified before the House Jan. 6 committee yesterday, refuting election fraud claims and recounting how the threats against his family grew violent and specific after Trump tweeted at him by name. [Billy Penn/6ABC/Insider]
- In what’s seen as a longshot move, three Pa. House Republicans who represent districts in Western and South Central Pa. began impeachment proceedings against Philly DA Larry Krasner. The action, described as a response to rising gun violence, came as several firearms regulation bills in the House were kept from a floor vote. [WHYY/City & State]
- Could letting people rent single rooms help reduce homelessness in Philly? Councilmember Derek Green introduced a bill to allow it. [Governing]
- Biotech keeps growing in Philly, with the Pennovation Center announcing another $365 million project on Grays Ferry Avenue that will focus on research and biomanufacturing. [Technical.ly]
- The BlackStar Film Festival returns this year from August 3 to 7 to showcase the work of Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists. It will feature 75+ selections, including the premiere of a collection of short films by Philly-based filmmakers. [PhillyVoice/BlackStar]
- The next season of Abbott Elementary will “be going a little bit outside of the school more,” per creator and Philly native Quinta Brunson, who was featured as The Awardist’s June cover star. [ET/EW]
- Eagles rookie wide receiver Devon Allen, a former Olympic hurdler, posted the third-fastest time ever in the 110-meter hurdles at the New York Grand Prix. [NBC10]
ON THE CALENDAR
? 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).