Newsletter for Tuesday, Nov. 11
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
The scene at Lincoln Financial Field last night, where the Mark Sanchez-led Eagles dominated the Carolina Panthers, 45-21. Image by Instagram user @ddiamond62.
PHILLY AFGHAN WAR VET RECALLS SERVICE: ‘ONE OF THE WEIRDEST FEELINGS’
Luis Gaitan is one of more than two million veterans nationwide — and about 70,000 in Pennsylvania — who are under 34. He’s a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, back from a combat zone where he didn’t see combat, as his role as an engineer meant building bridges and roads, and helping Afghans do the same. On Veteran’s Day, read his talk with Billy Penn about the challenges he faced, and what it was like to get back to civilian life: “It was an interesting transition… I was so used to having everything regimented, hearing an alarm and being on alert. It was one of the weirdest feelings. I was so used to carrying a weapon everywhere.”
PENNSYLVANIA, SUE THYSELF: SCHOOL, GUN LAWSUITS FILED HOURS APART MONDAY
This is the state of governance in Pennsylvania: The state is facing two lawsuits on the state of public education, and an NRA-backed bill that lets the lobbying organization sue over the city’s gun ordinances. Both claim their respective measure violates the state Constitution — the first claims Gov. Tom Corbett and the state aren’t living up to the state’s obligation to educate, and the second, that a bill that heads through the Legislature should only have a “single purpose.” (The NRA-backed measure was part of a bill that increased penalties for stealing copper; that’s some smooth lobbyin’, there, boys.) Point being, these aren’t our lawmakers reaching compromise by reaching across the aisle — these are decisions being made in one place and then fought by lawyers in another place. Can you FEEL the democracy, people?
MEET KATHLEEN MCGINTY, TOM WOLF’S NEW CHIEF OF STAFF
She’s a former employee of both Bill Clinton and Al Gore, and now this Philly native has the ear of Pennsylvania’s most powerful executive. Yep, that’s the Northeast’s own Katie McGinty in the role of Chief of Staff to Tom Wolf. Yep, she ran against Wolf in the primary election — but we bet there’s stuff you didn’t know about her, so we made a list.
THERE WAS A 40 PERCENT DROP IN PHILLY HOMICIDES IN OCTOBER
The homicide rate in Philly dropped 40 percent in October, according to the Gun Crisis News Project. It’s a bittersweet moment for the site, which covers gun-related homicides in Philadelphia. The site told users last week that it was discontinuing daily updates because of a lack of funding. What’s behind the drop? It’s unclear — but temps have fallen about 10 degrees, the site notes.
TO DO: LOOK AT GINGERBREAD VERSIONS OF FAMOUS FAIRMOUNT HOUSES
WHAT: The Fairmount Park Holiday Gingerbread Display, gingerbread versions of places like the Shofuso Japanese Tea House, Laurel Hill Mansion, Strawberry Mansion and more.
WHERE: The Shops at Liberty Place, 1625 Chestnut St.
WHEN: 9:30 AM-7 PM
HOW MUCH: Free
BILLY PENN LIKES
WHY A SPECIAL DEPARTMENT REGULATES TAXIS IN PHILADELPHIA
Plan Philly looks at the Philadelphia Parking Authority, and gives a long explanation of why that bureaucracy oversees taxis in the city. Long story short: It all started with the railroads, the first transportation to be regulated by an agency. It continued through taxis, which used to be super valuable (medallions sold for half a million dollars) but have, recently, been disrupted by things like Uber and Lyft. It’s a neat piece; go read it.
STREET EATS: WHERE CHEFS FROM 8 TOP PHILLY RESTAURANTS GO TO GRUB
They’re usually cooking some of the most haute cuisine in Philadelphia. But when they’re craving a cheesesteak, or a slice of pizza, where do Zahav’s Michael Solomonov, Le Virtu’s Joe Cicala or the Cheu Noodle Bar guys (Ben Puchowitz & Shawn Darragh) head? Billy Penn asked some of the folks behind Philly’s hippest kitchens to dish on their go-to spots.