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Holmesburg prison apology brings survivor’s daughter peace

Decades later, Philadelphia formally apologized for its part in the Holmesburg prison experiments that exposed incarcerated people to toxic materials.

  • Leodus Jones was a survivor of those damaging tests, which a Penn dermatology professor performed indiscriminately from the 1950s through ’70s on the Northeast Philly prison population.

Daughter Adrianne Jones-Alston was glad for the city’s gesture — “I heard apologies that my father fought to hear,” she told BP contributor Denali Sagner.

Guards stand outside the control room at the hub of the closed Holmesburg Prison during the 2015 filming of ‘Death House’ Credit: Emma Lee / WHYY

Philadelphia man invites city to watch him eat rotisserie chicken

“Come See Me Eat An Entire Rotisserie Chicken,” the flier reads — with an invitation to watch a man do this on Saturday for the 40th consecutive day.

  • It’s unclear exactly why it went viral, other than Philly being Philly. It’s the work of Alexander Tominsky, who’s posted dozens of pics of himself conquering the bird at Barclay Prime, where he works, or at the Acme.

For Billy Penn, Dawn Fallik got the lowdown on Tominksy’s inspiration, his strategy, and how he currently feels about poultry (spoiler: hates it).

Alexander Tominsky on his 31st day of eating an entire rotisserie chicken Credit: Twitter/ @AlexiconTom

Procrastinator’s Guide to the November election in Philly

The midterm elections are upon us, and the Billy Penn Procrastinator’s Guide is here to help. Scroll through this cheat sheet to all the candidates and charter change questions, then bookmark it for easy access when you complete your mail ballot or head to the polls on Nov. 8. Read the guide in Spanish here.

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

  • As Election Day approaches, the Pa. Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on whether or not mail ballots missing a date on the voter declaration can be counted. [Spotlight PA]
  • Over the past decade, seven Philly zip codes flipped from being majority homeowners to majority renters: the areas around Old City (51% renters), Fairmount (58%), West Kensington (57%), East Falls (52%), Cobbs Creek (52%), Hunting Park (54%), and Elmwood Park (52%). [RentCafe/Biz Journal$]
  • A series of storytelling workshops run out of Penn are giving Philly communities a chance to recognize and deal with local climate change. [Billy Penn]
  • Three years after shutting down, storied Chinatown music venue the Trocadero Theater might be reopening. Rumors are flying, and records appear to show the owners recently got a $2.5 million state redevelopment grant. [Variety/Hidden City/Philly Mag$]
  • Streets Department crews, who cleaned up 7,780 pounds of trash after the Phillies’ NLCS victory, are on standby as the World Series continues this week. [WHYY’s PlanPhilly]
  • With the Phils getting rained out last night, Game 3 vs. the Houston Astros will be tonight and Game 4 on Thursday — right when the Eagles play the Houston Texans. It’s the 7th time two cities have doubly matched up like this. [WHYY/ProFootballTalk/@ESPNStatsInfo]

The story you didn’t read

Highlighting good BP articles few people clicked on ?

Online shopping for produce → fresh veggies for Philadelphians

Note: This is a paid blurb and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Billy Penn.

Online farm share company Philly Foodworks, a Billy Penn sponsor, is moving into its next phase with several programs that help people with lower incomes access fresh, local produce — while also helping area farmers survive. Read more about the food access programs PFW customers have made possible, or join the club: use coupon code BILLYPENNACCESS for $25 off your first order.


West Kensington’s Nelson Rec Center and playground got a $1.8 million Rebuild makeover, and Mayor Kenney attends the ribbon cutting to open the renovated facility (10 a.m.).


? The Free Library hosts cookbook author Kardea Brown in conversation with Philly chef Valerie Erwin, formerly of Geechee Girl Cafe, about Gullah and Geechee heritage and food. (7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1)

? FDR Park’s boathouse transforms into a big ofrenda for “La Gran Fiesta,” a free Day of the Dead celebration culminating in a light-up bike parade. (6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3)

?️ “Phriends” mashes up the hit ’90s sitcom with an interactive murder mystery at the Curtis Center. Tickets are $35. (Friday, Saturday, and Sundays through Dec. 18)