RECAP: Looking back on the week that was
• Cherelle Parker elected Philly’s 100th mayor
Philadelphia didn’t just elect its first woman mayor last week. It elected a Black single mom who personally experienced the hardships so many kids growing up in the city face, and turned it into a multi-decade career in political leadership. The big question: Can she now channel that into the change Philly needs?
Parker is starting with a transition team helmed by labor leader Ryan Boyer, Enterprise Center President Della Clark, and private equity investor Greg Segall. Their plan comprises dozens of committees and working groups, and includes an open call for input and participation, with John Salveson of the Salveson Stetson Group helping oversee recruiting. Somewhat unusually for Philly, Parker and outgoing Mayor Jim Kenney are allies, so there’s no intention of dismantling what he built, she said — just bringing a different attitude, one that ends the “hope deficit” plaguing Philadelphia.
[Billy Penn x 2/Metro/WHYY/Transition 2023/Inquirer$]
• Dangerous traffic: Cyclist killed, Sixers star injured
The city’s latest Vision Zero report, released last month, touted a 34% drop in streets that have traffic calming measures installed. But that’s far from all roadways, and two high-profile incidents last week illustrate the ongoing danger. Former Masterman dean and rowing/running coach Kevin Saint Clair was killed Monday after a driver struck him riding his bike in Northwest Philly, pushing him into the other lane where a second driver smashed into him. And on Saturday, new Sixers guard Kelly Oubre Jr. was walking in Center City when a driver hit him. Oubre is out of the hospital now but expected to miss significant time on the court.
• WURD Radio celebrates 20 years
Pennsylvania’s only Black owned and operated talk radio station last week celebrated 20 years of broadcasting. WURD Radio was founded by physician and entrepreneur Walter Lomax Jr., and now his daughter Sara Lomax runs the show, which includes dozens of daily and weekly programs plus online and in-person community events. There’s more coming in the near future, Jordan Levy reports, including a big new headquarters in Mantua.
• Princess Diana bought that Eagles jacket herself
Now that kelly green is an official Eagles color again, the franchise grabbed the opportunity to release a replica of the letterman jacket made famous by Princess Diana (modeled by Kylie Kelce, aka Jason’s wife). When it went on sale for $400 last week, there was a “melee” in the pro shop and it sold out almost immediately. But a more interesting tidbit surfaced, thanks to reporting from Defector: Contrary to the now-common narrative that an Eagles statistician had the jacket custom made for the princess, it turns out she purchased it herself from Harrods.
VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead
• Intercity bus pickup moves to waterfront
Starting Thursday, travelers riding Greyhound, Megabus, FlixBus, and Peter Pan will board and disembark at a new location: the blocks around Columbus Boulevard and Spring Garden Street, a waterfront intersection currently home to a gas station, construction, and an events venue. The spot is billed as temporary — Greyhound abandoned its Center City bus terminal earlier this year, and the city is reportedly working to help find a replacement — but better than the previous temp solution of clustering the pickups on the 600 block of Market, in the middle of the Historic District.
• Fishtown debates food truck ban
Will Philly ban food trucks from the popular nightlife junction of Frankford and Girard? Legislation is pending, but debate is still raging over who would benefit from removing one of the only late-night food options in an area that’s buzzing with bar business into the wee hours. The Fishtown Neighbors Association meets Tuesday to discuss the bill, and Councilmember Squilla says he’ll take their input into account when deciding whether to move forward at Thursday’s Council session.
• Update on 30th Street Station revamp
Renovations to Gray 30th Street Station will soon kick into high gear, per Amtrak and Plenary Infrastructure, the firm managing the $400 million reconstruction effort. A public meeting “to provide updated information” happens Thursday evening at the historic train hall. One promise for the revamp has been the return of the iconic split-flap departures board — but only as decoration, not for actual transmission of travel info. As for rebuilding the underground connector with the MFL? That’s not yet funded, a spokesperson clarified.
[Amtrak/BP 2022/Billy Penn]
• Love Park and Philly Zoo get decked out
Starting this week, the winter holiday season is in full effect in Philadelphia. Friday brings the return of LumiNature, the light show that takes over the Philly Zoo each year with more than a million LEDs crafted into dozens of displays (tickets start at $28). And Saturday brings the launch of this year’s Christmas Village, filling Love Park with more than 120 vendors offering crafts, jewelry, apparel, trinkets, and lots of food and drink.
[Philly Zoo/BP 2019/BP 2021/Phila Xmas/BP 2022]
Disclosure: John Salveson is chairman of WHYY’s board of directors
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