Summer at Graffiti Pier (Instagram/@kslouf)

RECAP: Looking back on the week that was

• Philadelphia sues ghost gun suppliers

Where do the weapons fueling Philly’s shooting epidemic come from? Increasingly, DIY kits sold without background checks or serial numbers. Known as “ghost guns,” their use in Philadelphia has more than tripled over the last four years, per PPD data, and made up 87% of firearms confiscated this year so far. The city last week joined with the Giffords Law Center to sue the largest suppliers — Polymer80 and JSD Supply — a long-planned move that tragically came a day after a shooter likely carrying ghost guns went on a rampage in Kingsessing.
[CBS News/WHYY/Phila Gov/Billy Penn]

• Stats show Philly-area economic recovery

Employment in the region continues to rebound, according to June BLS data, with the 3.1 million jobs surpassing pre-COVID counts. Growth is happening faster here than in Baltimore, D.C., or even New York — and numbers show a full recovery even in the much-battered hospitality sector. Philly lags behind the rest of the metropolitan statistical area, however, and factors like a UPS strike threaten to be a drag on the local economy.

• Customers dismayed by Greyhound move

A week after Greyhound abandoned its longtime Center City terminal — citing a national move toward a station-less business model — the effect on customers is becoming clear. Ticketholders are now forced to wait on a hot sidewalk with no access to bathrooms or benches, just like (usually cheaper) rival Megabus and others. What’s less clear is how much the proposed Sixers arena forced the switch; 76 Devcorp has the now-vacant property under contract.
[Fox29/Billy Penn]

• Tomato pie gets the potato chip treatment

Did anyone ask for potato chips that taste like roast pork sandwiches, Korean BBQ wings, or tomato pie? Either way, they now exist as part of Herr’s latest “Flavored by Philly” contest. The BP team conducted an official taste test on the three limited-edition snacks — each repping a local business — and results were decidedly mixed.
[Billy Penn]

Famous 4th Street Delicatessen, entrance and dining room. (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead

• Will Pa. Senate decamp without signing budget?

Both chambers of the Pa. Legislature have passed a budget for next year, but Gov. Shapiro’s promise to line-item veto a previously-endorsed $100M school voucher plan has the Senate’s Republican leadership livid — to the point where they’ve refused to sign off on the bill so it can go to the governor’s desk. If the Senate goes on planned recess till September, the $45.5B spending plan would be in limbo, and the commonwealth could start to miss payments.
[WFMZ/Spotlight PA]

• Phillies ride roller coaster into All-Star break

Two players will rep Philadelphia in Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game: closer Craig Kimbrel and right fielder Nick Castellanos. The Phillies are hot off a franchise record–tying road win streak of 13 games, which came to an abrupt end on Saturday in a loss overshadowed by another bummer. Bryce Harper, who’s been playing designated hitter while he recovers from elbow surgery, was hit by a pitch in just that spot. He’s reportedly “sore” but OK.
[MLB/Billy Penn/CBS3/NBC10]

• Beyonce comes to town

With apologies to Pittsburgh, where a Renaissance World Tour stop was recently canceled, Philly basks in the light of Queen Bey this week when she puts on a show at Lincoln Financial Field. Unlike Taylor Swift, Beyonce doesn’t claim Philadelphia as her home (and her husband is not from here, despite a typo in the paper of record), but she has performed here a lot, thanks to Made in America, plus ordered birthday cakes from a Fishtown bakery. She has another connection to Philly that dates to 2001 — stay tuned for more.
[Billboard/Inquirer$/@BradfordPearson/BP/Eater 2019]