Philadelphia's murder rate is up 20 percent over last year, and police say "disputes that turn violent" are the most common motive. Shootings are down 5 percent, though, which the department says is thanks in part to community policing and officers' presence on the street. When Donald Trump visited Philly late last year he said homicides here were "increasing terribly." Our fact-check proved that false. And though rates are higher right now than they were in 2016, Philly is riding a long-term decrease in murders.
It's been hot out lately, and people in Center City have been dipping their feet and hands (and faces) in the Dilworth Park fountain. Only...do not drink the water. We tested the water back in September and found coliform bacteria. TL;DR, that could be but probably isn't fecal matter and/or e coli. The Center City District told us last fall the water is safe to walk in and play in and probably splash in, but not to drink. No way. Only, the signs didn't say not to drink from the fountains. The CCD told us new signs would be made for the spring, and Wednesday — after a full day of calls and emails from us asking about the signs — the signs were rolled out. Do. Not. Drink. The. Water.
Repairs are underway at Mount Carmel Cemetery, but its Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood might be getting another boost. The Mural Arts Program, Human Relations Commission and Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia are interested in creating an installation and corresponding programming series in Wissinoming focused on cross-cultural partnerships. About 100 headstones were toppled in February at the historic Jewish cemetery — one of many anti-Semitic acts reported in the city since the November election.
The Sixers lost Wednesday night to the Knicks. Phew. That, coupled with Orlando's win, gave the Sixers the fourth-worst record in the NBA, one spot behind the Lakers. Should any team jump into the top 3, the Sixers will get their own pick AND the Lakers' pick this year. If it's Philly or Sacramento, the Sixers could get two of the top 4 picks. They stand to be big winners or huge losers at the NBA Draft Lottery. And speaking of winners and losers, we ran through this crazy, injury-riddled season to pick our Sixers winners and losers. Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor — who would you consider a winner or a loser this year?
What are the cultural effects of the media technologies that have taken over most people's daily lives? That's what hit British sci-fi show "Black Mirror" asks, and it's the topic several local profs will explore in a panel discussion about social media, gender norms, sociopsychology, micro-celebrities, drone culture, virtual reality, technological existence, nihilism and human meaning. All accompanied by scenes from the show. Free RSVP requested.
Where: Temple Center City, Rm. 308 at 1515 Market St. 19102
When: April 13, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
How much: Free with registration
Billy Penn Likes
When's the last time you went to a baseball card store? Unless you're a diehard collector, it's probably been decades. But TNT Cards & Memorabilia near 11th and Ellsworth is still doing steady business. The father and son (Pop Pop and Pop) shop is South Philly's last card store, and the duo is serving everyone from longtime collectors to younger customers attending weekly Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments.
Happy Wawa Day, Philly! In honor of its 53rd birthday, everyone's favorite convenience store wants to give away two million cups of coffee. So head to any Wawa any time today and snag yourself a freebie — any size. The company, along with its 3-year-old Wawa Foundation is also celebrating $2 million in donations to the charitable organization. Good vibes all around.