Your support is key 🔑
70% of our budget comes from individual members, making our work possible without paywalls.
Will you join us?
? Want this daily digest emailed to you? Sign up for the free Billy Penn newsletter and it’ll land in your inbox every morning.
RECAP: Looking back on the week that was
• Riders say SEPTA’s explanation doesn’t add up
Regional Rail riders have been getting hit with double charges for some rides to Center City. SEPTA acknowledged this when Billy Penn asked about it, attributing it to a Key card bug that popped up two weeks ago. But several people said they noticed the extra costs as early as April. It’s also unclear if everyone will get a refund — so far it’s automatic only for TransPass holders. [Billy Penn]
• Controversy over $450k schools consultant
Philadelphia parents, teachers, and public school advocates have raised questions about a $450,000 contract quietly awarded last month to help new Superintendent Tony Watlington get settled in his job. But Board of Education officials are defending the decision to hire outside consultants, despite the firm’s controversial history — its principal once surrendered his teaching license over mishandling of sexual harassment allegations. [Billy Penn/Inquirer$/WHYY/Chalkbeat]
• Pride Month wraps up with a splash
A ballroom showcase at the Franklin Institute helped wrap up Pride Month in Philadelphia, which kicked off with the reimagined revival of a citywide celebration. If you haven’t yet listened to “March On,” you can binge Michaela Winberg’s podcast on the city’s LGBTQ history and community. Plus, an elder who volunteered at Philadelphia’s first Gay Pride March 50 years ago gives their take on the new approach. [BP/BP/WHYY/Billy Penn]
• American Revolution starter guide
Everyone knows Philadelphia is packed to the brim with history from the American Revolution. But if you’re new to the city, you might find it hard to decide where to start exploring. If you’ve lived here all your life, you might have skipped some of the more interesting ones. From the touristy to the lesser-known, Asha Prihar has a primer to Philly’s must-see Revolutionary War history. [Billy Penn]
VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead
• Melrose Diner slated for demolition
Over the past few years, Philly has lost many of its late-night hangouts, and it looks like another is headed for that fate. The owner of the Melrose Diner on West Passyunk obtained demolition permits to knock down the longtime favorite. Though on-site managers originally downplayed the news, city documents show plans to build a new tower on the triangular plot — which could eventually include a new diner in the ground floor. [BP 2019/@axballooon/Passyunk Post/Inquirer$]
• Future Flyers goalie’s fate in Russia’s hands
It’s unclear what will happen to Ivan Fedotov, who served as netminder for Russia in the Beijing Olympics and recently signed a 1-year contract to join the Flyers as backup goalie. The 25-year-old was detained by Russian authorities before he left for Philadelphia, on ostensible charges he was dodging military service. Last word is he was hospitalized after “falling ill.” [PhillyVoice/NYT$/HockeyFeed]
• Protests join parties on July Fourth
There’s a daylong Party on the Parkway and a concert with fireworks (stay tuned for our pics) plus lots more to do, but Independence Day this year also brings protests. People galvanized by the Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning Roe v. Wade are hosting rallies — one that’s more official, and a second that’s more radical. [Welcome America/Visit Philly/Billy Penn]