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RECAP: Looking back on the week that was

• City apologizes for inhumane prison experiments

Philadelphia formally apologized for the Holmesburg Prison experiments carried out by a Penn professor. From the 1950s through ’70s, incarcerated people, mostly Black men, were purposely exposed to viruses, fungus, asbestos, and Agent Orange component dioxin. Reporting from Penn’s 34th Street magazine spurred the university last year to apologize and revoke the former professor’s honorifics. [Phila Gov/34th Street/AP]

• Traffic fatalities drop, but stubbornly higher vs. pre-COVID

Traffic fatalities in Philly were down 20% last year from an all-time high in 2020, per the city’s annual Vision Zero report. However, the rate is still up versus pre-pandemic — second only to Los Angeles among big U.S. cities — and it’s worse in neighborhoods with predominantly Black and Hispanic residents. Potential fixes: Better crosswalk protections, more protected bike lanes, and more speed cameras.  [PDF/Axios/BP/WHYY x 2]

• Art museum strike stretches into second week

Workers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art maintained their strike and urged visitors not to cross the picket lines that have formed daily at the famous steps. Union members say they’ve gone without raises for 3 years, and want better health care. Museum management says the upcoming Matisse show will continue — though questions have been raised about whether the temporary installers are qualified. A new director, Sasha Suda, just started last month. [NPR/Hyperallergic/Inquirer$/@PMA_Union/WHYY]

• Phillies sweep, advance in the playoffs

Ready for a red October? In an upset, the Phillies put away the St. Louis Cardinals last night, winning the Wild Card best of 3 series and advancing to their first NLDS since 2011. The clubhouse was lit post-win, with players belting out “Dancing On My Own” while spraying champagne. “Nobody’s excited to play the Phillies right now,” said J.T. Realmuto. [ESPN/@NBCSPhilly/NBCS Philly]

Seen here in 2015, the Belmont Plateau sugar maple offered a unique skyline view Credit: Bradley Maule

VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead

• Time for mail ballots and drop boxes

If you live in Philly and requested a mail ballot for the Nov. 8 election, you can expect it to go out this week, the City Commissioners told Billy Penn. (You can still apply online to get one, or just register to vote.) Also on tap: drop boxes around the city where you can return your voted ballot — stay tuned for our map. BP’s Procrastinator’s Guide to all the candidates will be out the week following. [Pa. Gov/Billy Penn]

• SEPTA rolling out train safety plan, seeking bus feedback

With ridership still down 40% vs. pre-pandemic, SEPTA is working on ways to bring people back. It’s rolling out a new safety plan, building on the increase from 7 to 50 outreach specialists who help people sleeping in the train stations. On the bus side, the agency is hosting a series of meetings to get feedback on its proposal to trim the number of routes with the aim of faster service. [Fox29/SEPTA/Metro]

• Neon museum to close, seeks new location

A little under two years after it opened in Kensington, the Neon Museum of Philadelphia will be shutting down on Dec. 11. The issue: lack of revenue — a pandemic didn’t help with visits, and the North American Street location gets little foot traffic. The collection, which had been put together by founder Len Davidson over several decades, is now seeking a new home. [Signs of the Times/WHYY/Billy Penn]

• Haunted house szn is here

The psychedelic and creepy experience of Eastern State at Halloween is hard to top — we said this long before they had an ad in our newsletter; it’s scary in a real prison — but there’s a newcomer with a story similarly based in reality. After it suffered major water damage from Ida, the owners of Lincoln Mill in Manayunk transformed it into a haunted house with the premise of a flooded building. Asha Prihar has a look behind the scenes. [Billy Penn x 2]