World's largest free-standing masonry building (Instagram/@nyc_perfect_pixels)

Philadelphia students are being taught to ‘counter’ shooters

What should students do if there’s an active shooter in the school? For years, the School District of Philadelphia’s answer was to barricade themselves as the school went into lockdown. But now, teachers and older students in Philly are being taught to “counter” shooters. 

Called ALICE training, it’s already taught in Pittsburgh, Eden MacDougall reports, but is considered controversial, and has some teachers and psychologists concerned.

A student leaves McCall after the school day. Only grades 9-12 are being trained in the ALICE “countering” techniques. (Nathan Morris for Billy Penn)

From Tejería to Philadelphia, how César Viveros found a life of art

Multidisciplinary artist César Viveros, recently awarded a Pew grant, has been in Philly for 20 years. You’ve likely seen his work around the city — he’s done dozens of pieces for Mural Arts — but he’s also known for his role in restoring the Cesar Andreú Iglesias Community Garden in Kensington.

Viveros got his start under the watchful eye of his grandmother, writes Némesis Mora, tracing his path from Mexico to the present day.

Cesar Viveros at the Cesar Andreu Iglesias Garden with a large sculpture of the Aztec god of fire, Huehueteotl, which he created for the space. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Bringing back the art of comprehensive wellness

This is a sponsored post and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Billy Penn at WHYY.

Without even realizing, many people aren’t living their best lives because of a variety of health imbalances. Identifying what contributes to optimal wellness isn’t easy; it requires looking at physiology, biochemistry, stress levels, and nutrients. Good news: This is the mission of The Marcus Institute of Integrative Health – Jefferson Health’s Executive Great Life program. Read more about the full-day, head-to-toe, mind and body assessment here.

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

• Philadelphia is still the nation’s poorest big city, per new Census data released last week, but by a slimmer margin. Median household incomes have risen, but more than 1 in 5 Philadelphians (21.7%) live below the federal poverty line. That’s down from a high of 28.4% last decade. [Inquirer/@billy_penn]

• New legislation from Councilmember Thomas would give wrongfully convicted Philadelphians $500 on release from prison, along with housing counselors, scholarship access, and help finding a job. [PhillyVoice]

• Three Masterman teachers are suing the Philly School District, claiming their First Amendment rights were violated by alleged retaliation and docked pay following a protest over asbestos in the building. [6ABC]

• The Franklin Institute’s next core exhibit will focus on space exploration. The $8.5 million installation opens in November. [NBC10]

• For this year’s Philadelphia Marathon, all prizes and awards at the non-elite level will be equally distributed across gender categories. [@PhillyMayor]

• Several fans who bought official NFL kelly green Eagles merch this summer are frustrated after they ended up with crooked or otherwise janky shirts and jerseys. [@shealynkilroy/Reddit/Outkick]

🏒 BP Quizzo live at Fitler Club: Join us Wednesday for Philly trivia in person at the garden of this social club next to the Schuylkill in Center City. Your $25 ticket includes unlimited hors d’oeuvres and happy hour snacks, and the top score wins 4 tickets to the Flyers home opener. See you there?


Philadelphia is getting a new youth poet laureate, announced today by Mayor Kenney at the Parkway Central Library (11 a.m.). Afternoon brings Kenney to the Penn Museum to help inaugurate the latest class of the Mexican Consulate’s Entrepreneurship Program for Mexican Women Abroad (4:30 p.m.).


🍲 The annual Main Course fundraising gala for nutrition nonprofit MANNA features dinner with food from over a dozen chefs, an open bar, and dancing. Tickets start at $150. (7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21)

🚚 Live music and dance, food trucks, local vendors, artists, and games will fill the inaugural Germantown Arts District Block Party, a free Fourth Friday celebration. (5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22)

📘 Billy Penn is participating in Philly Story Fest, joining journalists from media outlets around Philadelphia to tell the city’s best stories on stage at the Bok. Tickets are $25. (7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5)