Newsletter for Monday, Dec. 1
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
One of the new subway entrances at Dilworth Park; photo by Instagram user @vinaynays.
PHILLY MIGHT RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE TO $15 / HOUR
Could Philly really raise the minimum wage in the city to $15, more than double the state rate of $7.25? Well, maybe. City Council and Mayor Nutter have been making noise on the issue, following baggage workers at Philadelphia International Airport the day after their walkout last week, etc. But it’s pretty speculative right now: Councilman Kenyatta Johnson would “strongly consider” introducing legislation if legal advisors give it the all-clear. Doubters say Council members are just making noise in an election year, and the 1968 Wage Act is what’s stopped progress so far. But it’s a maybe, and that’d be a cool thing — ranking Philly with cities like Seattle, and putting us with other ‘burgs considering higher minimum wage like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
UNIVERSITY (NOT TEMPLE) CUTS TIES WITH COSBY
A major university in the Northeast has cut ties with Bill Cosby in the wake of sexual assault allegations that have dogged the entertainer for the last few months — but it’s the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, not Temple University. The move comes after 20 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual assault. The Inquirer tried to reach some of Temple’s 36 board of trustees (a mere three of which are women). That effort was mostly fruitless, but here’s a kind-of-amazing series of quotes from Robert Rovner, a lawyer who’s a trustee ex-officio and isn’t in favor of removing Cosby, whom he called a “role model”: “(I)n America, people are innocent until proven guilty. I’ll give my friend Bill Cosby the benefit of the doubt.. therefore, I would not throw him under the bus … I have mixed emotions because I do have feelings for any of the women who made accusations, but on the other hand, there are two sides to every story. Some of them made accusations 15 to 20 years later. Some of them may have tried to use Bill Cosby to get into show business.”
STUDY: STATE’S SCHOOLS NEED $3.5 BILLION (WITH A ‘B’) MORE TO EDUCATE KIDS
We’ve heard about the dire straits under which the city’s schools are operating: Not enough textbooks, too many kids per classroom, etc. But a new study from the University of Pennsylvania frames the issue from a statewide perspective: Just how much money is needed to bring everything up to snuff? The sobering answer: A cool $3.5 billion. But the study gives big props to Philly’s schools, notes NewsWorks, as the researchers noted “Philadelphia is, in essence, doing more with less, when compared to its peer, high-poverty and low-achieving districts.”
TO DO: THE RITTENHOUSE TREE GETS ALL TURNT UP AGAIN
WHAT: A big ol’ (think 30-footer) Christmas tree gets lit
WHERE: Rittenhouse Square
WHEN: 5 PM
HOW MUCH: Free
BILLY PENN LIKES
HIDDEN CITY: WHY YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT WINTERFEST, STAT
Maybe it’s the chimineas, kept roaring even in the low temps by a dedicated staff — they’re a great way to make s’mores. Maybe it’s the LED light show on the big ol’ tree, set to music every half-hour. Maybe it’s the arcade games, or the ski lounge-style room furnished with fireplaces salvaged from the Divine Lorraine Hotel. Or maybe it’s the catering by Garces Events (because generally speaking, burgers made by an Iron Chef rule). In any event, Hidden City makes a great case for checking out Winterfest, the city’s newest pop-up public space along the Delaware River.
WHY ON EARTH DO FANS STILL GO TO SIXERS GAMES?
The Sunday Inquirer goes deep on the hot mess that is today’s Philadelphia 76ers — by talking to the fans in the stands, some of whom still, unfathomably, have season tickets to watch a winless team that’s favored to win in zero of their upcoming games. Here’s a selection of quotes: “We like to show our face, even if they [stink].” … “When I watch on TV, I’m rooting for them to lose… When I’m here, I’m rooting for them to win.” “Believe me, I take a lot of flak at work for having season tickets.” Yeah.