Splash of spring (Instagram/@basique_b)

RECAP: Looking back on the week that was

• Candidate field begins to narrow

Last week was the deadline for hopeful candidates for Philadelphia office to submit signature petitions to get on the May primary ballot. With challenges and appeals still pending, the list isn’t final, but it has started to narrow. Terrill Haigler, aka Ya Fav Trashman, was one of the higher profile dropouts — and he may be facing ethics charges. Haigler owes campaign staff money, and he used campaign funds to keep his heat on and other personal expenses. Observers note some of the rules against this help keep working-class people from achieving office. [BP/Phila.gov/BP 2022/Inquirer$/@BroadAndMarket]

• Philly school asbestos concerns mushroom 

Students from the shuttered Building 21 can finish out the year virtually, per the Pa. Dept. of Education, abetting some parent concerns about the planned move to Strawberry Mansion. But the Philly School District knew of damaged asbestos in the West Oak Lane high school for two years, Supt. Watlington said last week. Meanwhile, students in a district building at Mastery Gratz High School are still waiting to find out their fate. [Billy Penn/6ABC/KYW]

• Flyers finally fire general manager

The Phillies reached the World Series. The Eagles were in the Super Bowl. The Union nearly won the MLS Cup. And the Sixers are on an upward trajectory toward the playoffs. Left out of all this glory: the Flyers. As their second consecutive season with a losing record crawls to a close, the team (which is owned by cable giant subsidiary Comcast Spectacor, btw) fired general manager Chuck Fletcher. A restructuring of management is underway. [NBCS Philly/Broad Street Hockey/PhillyVoice]

• Flower Show’s return indoors dubbed a success

A new layout and lots of first-time exhibitors helped make the Philadelphia Flower Show’s first indoor event since 2019 a success, according to organizers, guests, and florists. Newcomer Black Girls Florist earned a medal, as did the students from W.B. Saul High School, who walked away with a gold. [Billy Penn/WHYY/Billy Penn]

A closeup of the central figure in W.B. Saul High School’s exhibit at the 2023 Philadelphia Flower Show. (Steve Dixon/WHYY Education)

VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead

• End of Temple grad student strike?

After six weeks on strike, the TUGSA union representing graduate student workers reached another tentative agreement with the university — and this time leaders are backing the deal. They haven’t released specifics, but outlined a pay raise, better leave policies, and a subsidy for dependent health care. Temple has already agreed to restore the health care benefits cut off last month. [WHYY/@TUGSA_6290/BP]

• Civilian safety officers start patrolling traffic

They’re not exactly traffic cops, but as of Friday afternoon, Philadelphia has a fleet of “public safety enforcement officers.” First suggested by Council President Clarke back in 2019, the sworn-in, trained civilians will report to the Streets Department and handle things like directing traffic and removing abandoned vehicles. The idea is to take these duties away from the PPD, so police officers can concentrate on bigger problems. [WHYY/BP 2019/Phila Gov] 

• Later sunsets, despite a loss of sleep  

The farmers-era practice of switching clocks for Daylight Saving Time doesn’t actually save energy, experts say, and there’s been a movement in Harrisburg to stop doing it in Pennsylvania. It persists, however — and in Philly the change is marked by manually hand-cranking forward the hands on the clocks in City Hall.  [NBER/Centre Daily/BP 2021]