Newsletter for Tuesday, Feb. 24
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Aerial view of the fire in Kensington that shut down part of the El, via Daniel Kent on Twitter.
PA GETS CLOSER TO 2015: HOUSE VOTES TO PUT BOOZE IN YOUR GROCERY STORE
Look, it’s clearly not the most crucial issue facing Harrisburg this year. But any person who has ever wondered why the hell you can’t just buy a six-pack of Yuengling at the grocery store like nearly every other state in the U.S. has to cheer for this one: A House committee voted to privatize liquor sales in the state. But don’t get too excited! Tommy Wolf doesn’t like this move, and he’s threatened it with his veto. Boo!
CITY COUNCIL CHIEF TO INKY PULITZER-WINNER: DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Last week Inga Saffron, the Inquirer’s Pulitzer Prize winning architecture critic, wrote a column blasting a move by City Council President Darrell Clarke. Saffron’s point: The fast-tracking of a bill with an amendment that would put city planning, development and housing agencies into one department consolidated too much power in one office, and didn’t allow for enough input from the public. The problem? That amendment was struck from the bill on Wednesday — accurately reported by the Inquirer’s Claudia Vargas — two days before Saffron wrote about it. The Inquirer ran a correction in the paper that is now seen at the top of her article online. Clarke added fuel to the fire on Facebook Saturday, posting a photo of the print correction. Inquirer editor William K. Marimow released a statement. It’s a thing.
NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX: MAYORAL CANDIDATE EDITION
We at Billy Penn love neighborhoods, which are essential to its very existence. Now come the candidates vying for the Mayor of this city. In order to gain that office, the city’s Home Rule Charter mandates they actually live in the city for a period of three years. Being mayor is a big job, especially when a million and a half people are involved. So here’s how the race looks through the places these candidates call home, according to recent public filings: Lynne Abraham, Nelson Diaz, Jim Kenney, Doug Oliver, Milton Street and Anthony Williams.
EXPERTS, STUDENTS MYSTIFIED BY PENN’S SUICIDE REPORT
The Penn Task Force on Student Psychological Health and Welfare was deployed by the university in February 2014 after four students committed suicide since August 2013, three of them in the early months of 2014. The report — eight pages, no concrete takeaways save a new website and a flyer for faculty — has drawn fire from students and faculty. The complaints? Its relatively short length, and its lack of a concrete timeline. What’s more, the vague idea of getting rid of a culture of perfectionism seems murky and unrealistic.
TO DO: SPEED-DATING WITH THE MAYORAL CANDIDATES
WHAT: A ‘Petition Pitch Party’ where candidates have 7 minutes to explain their platform, and collect signatures — if you like ’em, you sign for them.
WHERE: Field House, 11th and Filbert streets
WHEN: 5 PM
HOW MUCH: $4, drinks and apps extra
BILLY PENN LIKES
PHILLY’S FUNNY (AND WEIRD, AND NOT FUNNY) STREET NAMES
Skidoo Street. Indian Queen Lane. Dunks Ferry Road. Philly’s got some pretty weird street names, and Philly Mag’s Dan McQuade put together a roundup of the some of the funniest. Spoiler alert: They’re not all funny. Some, like Shackamaxon and Tackawana, are just fun to say and remind us of the city’s Native American history. Others, like Martha, Emily and Albert, are, yes, just streets with first names. Allow yourself 10 minutes to check out the list to get to know Philly’s street names a little better and maybe even learn something… like how Axe Factory Road in the Northeast actually once led to an axe factory. We dare your inner 12-year-old to not laugh at the intersection of 69th and Dicks.
WHY BOBBY CLARKE COULD BE THE ULTIMATE PHILLY ATHLETE
Before the Stanley Cups, the 100-point seasons and those iconic toothless grins, there was a kid with a lot of skill who carried a lot of risk. These days, Bobby Clarke is remembered as the tough, talented leader of the Broad Street Bullies, the captain who brought Philadelphia its first and only NHL championships. But back in the ’60s, he was a prospect whom organizations didn’t want to take a gamble on. Many feared he would never be able to play professionally, even though he was among the best amateur players of his generation. Here’s the case for why Clarke could be the Ultimate Philly Athlete.