"Greetings From The Mirage" at the Navy Yard (Instagram/@my.little.joys) 

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How Philly was shaped by three centuries of corruption

Philadelphia has earned a reputation for corruption, and a new book details some of the more egregious examples over the past 300 years.

  • The mayors who awarded contracts to allies. The leaders who used police as political enforcers. The 1920s boondoggle that left us with the hated wage tax. Why is the trend so pervasive?

It’s not just the unethical people in power, argues the author Brett Mandel — by letting it continue to happen, all Philadelphians bear some blame

A new book called “Philadelphia, Corrupt and Consenting” details the city’s history with — and acceptance of — unscrupulous leaders. (Courtesy Brett Mandel)

Rainbow crosswalks make a splashy return to the Gayborhood

The intersection of 13th and Locust is now wearing a ring of refreshed rainbow crosswalks, newly installed last weekend.

  • Paint had badly faded on the colorful crossings, first installed in 2015. The new version is made of thermoplastic, which is much more permanent. Also new: more colors in the striping.

The neighborhood civic association had been working hard on the project, they told Billy Penn — and were thrilled when it happened sooner than expected.

New rainbow crosswalks were installed at 13th and Locust in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

• Starting in June, Philly will resume water shutoffs for residents who owe more than $1,000 over at least two billing cycles. There are exemptions for households with children, seniors, or people with disabilities. [WHYY’s PlanPhilly] 

• How can the new mayor tackle Philly’s ongoing litter and trash problem? Terrill Haigler, aka Ya Fav Trashman, suggests underground trash cans. [Billy Penn]

• Last year 20 new miles were added to the region’s Circuit Trails, including the Delaware River Trail, bringing the total to 378 miles. The goal is 500 miles by 2025. [BP 2022/@NilesBarnes] 

• Help name the pair of baby sloth bear cubs at the Philadelphia Zoo, the first born here in 30 years. Choose between Kelce and Harper, or Hall and Oates — vote (and watch the live bear cam) here. [NBC10/Philly Zoo] 

• Demi Lovato and Ludacris will headline the Fourth of July concert on the Ben Franklin Parkway, one of dozens of events in the 16-day Welcome America fest, including a June 28 block party with free Wawa hoagies. [KYW]

Outdoor dining at Cherry Street Pier. (Danya Henninger/Billy Penn)

Weekly brief on gun violence prevention (with PCGVR)

We publish this report each week in partnership with the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting• The Pa. House this week passed two gun bills: expanded background checks and a “red flag” law that makes seizures easier. They’ll face a tougher battle in the Senate. House members also rejected — by one vote — a bill to require gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms within three days. [AP/PhillyVoice]

• With a gala at the Linc tonight, Mothers In Charge celebrates a bittersweet anniversary: 20 years of violence prevention, education, and intervention work. The organization now serves over 500 families and youth, with multiple chapters nationwide. [MIC/Inquirer$]

• A new program out of the city’s behavioral health department called the Conscious Queens Wellness Workshop helps girls and teens of color process the trauma of living with gun violence. [DBHIDS/KYW] 

• Can we channel Philly’s passion for sports into antiviolence work? That’s the idea put forth by shooting survivor and anti-violence advocate LuQman Abdullah. [Citizen] 

By the numbers in Philadelphia

  • 35: Shooting victims recorded last week, vs. 37 the week prior. [City Controller via @PCGVR]
  • 684: Shooting victims this year so far, down 18% vs. this time last year. [PCGVR]
  • 162: Year-to-date homicides, down 13% vs. last year’s pace; up 40% vs. five years ago [Philly Police]


Mayor Kenney heads to Vie on North Broad this evening for the Police Athletic League annual awards gala, honoring Wawa CEO Chris Ghysens, Pacifico Auto President Maria Pacifico, and Ballard Spahr Chair Mark Stewart (7 p.m.).


🎤 Before he hit it big, John Legend once played at The Fire in Northern Liberties. A new work from Mural Arts commemorates that history, and the dedication party will include food and drink. (2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 25)

🦜 Black Birders Week events at the Academy of Natural Sciences include a black tie gala, a discussion workshop, and a free family fun day. (starting Thursday, May 25)