More than 2,000 people gathered in Rittenhouse Square yesterday evening — as VP Pence was attending a fundraiser nearby — to protest the separation of immigrant children from their families at the U.S. border. Gov. Wolf made his first statement about the practice yesterday, telling Billy Penn that "he opposes state resources being used to further President Trump’s policy." Here's more about Tuesday night's action, including our livestreamed video of the protest.
Escaping the summer heat with a cool blast of water from an open fire hydrant is a cherished memory for many. In Philly, turning a hydrant into a sprinkler at a block party was allowed until about 10 years ago, when the city decided it was too dangerous. But you might not know that if you went searching online. As recently as Monday morning, a Streets Dept. website said all you have to do is call up the Fire Dept. to get a permit and spray cap. Whoops! Turns out that was just an oversight. Glad we asked.
If nothing changes, officials say Philly schools will be $700 million in debt by 2022. Instead of continued dependence on Harrisburg, city officials agree they’ve got to find the money, but haven't yet been able to agree on where it should come from. Basically: Kenney wants to raise taxes, and City Council wants to cut the budget. Meanwhile, state reps want to asking the feds for help. We broke down all the different proposals here.
- Philly Weekly looked into sexual harassment reporting for employees in City Hall — and found it was almost nonexistent. Only 11 out of 47 departments were able to produce any internal HR complaints at all.
- It's an election year miracle: Pennsylvania's state budget is on time and contains no new fees or taxes.
- Goldenberg Group is buying the parking lot at 8th and Chestnut for a whopping $24 million, setting up a potential big new development in the former "Disney Hole." (Background.)
- City Council approved the first 64 parks, rec centers, playgrounds and libraries that will receive extra funding from the soda tax. Here's the list.
- The underground concourse in Center City, which is being overhauled and renovated by SEPTA, was officially renamed "Downtown Link."
At Parkside Evans Rec at 11 a.m., Mayor Kenney will speak at the "2nd Anniversary of the Signing of the Philadelphia Beverage Tax" (um, this isn't the Declaration of Independence, guys). The afternoon brings a signing of two bills retrofitted with gender-neutral language (3 p.m.). Remarks at a World Refugee Day celebration in the City Hall courtyard (5 p.m.) are followed by a talk at a Quebec Day event at the Barnes (6 p.m.).
🚚 BP Event 🌟 We're celebrating the opening of New Liberty Distillery's gorgeous courtyard space in Kensington with an Ultimate Philly Food Truck Celebration. Kid-friendly, pet-friendly, all you can eat. (Sunday, June 24, 1 to 4 p.m.)
💜 The Purple Heart Truck Run, a 7,800-mile cross-country awareness trip in a mobility-enabled truck driven by by amputee veterans, will make a stop at the Museum of the American Revolution. (Wednesday, June 20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
🚣 Experience the summer solstice sunset on the Schuylkill. Bartram's Garden is hosting a rowboat party using skiffs built by middle school students. Expect music, activities and more. (Thursday, June 21, 7 p.m.)
🌭 Mayfair is hosting the first of three Night Markets set for this summer, with dozens of vendors and food trucks and live music and family fun. (Thursday, June 21, 5 to 9 p.m.)
🍺 Roy-Pitz opened its Spring Arts brewpub in Philly a year ago, but has been brewing for a decade. A 10-year anniversary celebration brings rare beers, art exhibits and the debut of cans. (Saturday, June 23, 10:30 a.m. to 11: 30 p.m.)
📺 The National Association of Black Journalists is hosting a four-hour, entirely free panel discussion about how to help change the lives and the images of black men in the news and in society. (Saturday, June 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
High five to reader Sheila Piernock, who recently joined and said "It makes me want to go into the city and explore!" Here's how to become a Billy Penn member today. We rely on your support to stay on top of Philly news and inform a growing community of interested, involved Philadelphians. Thank you to everyone who's contributed.