The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' Philadelphia division has deemed arson was the cause of a fire that destroyed four rowhomes in the middle of an Ori Feibush property in Point Breeze. The fire broke out at about 4 a.m. Monday on Feibush's property at 20th and Wharton and came not long after a sign went up in the neighborhood equating Feibush's company, OCF Realty, with modern-day colonialism. Many neighbors referenced the tensions between Feibush, a City Council candidate in 2015, and people opposed to what they see as gentrification.
Quick recap: Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams was charged last month for bribery, extortion and wire fraud. IBEW Local 98 leader John Dougherty's home was raided by the FBI over the summer. Now Philly.com is reporting the FBI has investigated connections between the two, including the powerful union's $6,400 donation to send Williams' two daughters to summer camp. In Spain. And Japan. The union calls it "philanthropy." The FBI is still investigating.
Despite assurances from Mayor Jim Kenney that illegal stop-and-frisk would end in Philadelphia, a report from the Philadelphia Police Department found that about one in five “pedestrian stops” still lack “reasonable suspicion,” while 30 percent of frisks do, too. The ACLU of Pennsylvania reported that in data they compiled, one in four stops in 2016 were made without the officer giving a legal reason, translating to more than 35,000 people — 75 percent of whom are black and brown. So the good news is illegal stops are decreasing. Bad news is they're still pretty common.
The City of Philadelphia has a new advertising campaign and it has nothing to do with tourism. Facing a major opioid overdose crisis, the city's new ads encourage consumers to consider the risks of prescription opioids — basically telling them to avoid taking them. The ads feature a handful of people sharing their stories of addiction, including lines like, "it all started with prescription opioids" and "he was given pain pills by his doctor." Watch the ad here.
If you know any local artists (writers, musicians, performers), you probably know some who are seeking a wider audience for their work — and wouldn't mind making money from it, too. Introducing Cultureshare: A subscription-based program that curates and distributes locally produced art. This free happy hour info session will feature food, drinks and also stations to encourage creativity (think Play-Doh and guitars).
Where: Parkway Free Library at 1901 Vine St. 19103
When: May 3, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
How much: Free
Billy Penn Likes
What's more Philly than Allen Iverson? Maybe Edmund Bacon? They both have Philly anniversaries this week. It's been 20 years since Iverson was named NBA Rookie of the Year. Yep, that was the 1996-97 season and you're old. But not as old as Bacon would be today. The urbanist whose grand plans for Philly are still talked about near-daily would have been 107 this week.
At high-end Laurel on East Passyunk, Nicholas Elmi doesn't have much use for deli meat. But on Monday night, he proved that cold cuts can be used to make some amazing dishes. At the kick-off event to a new Dietz & Watson campaign designed around the importance of families sharing meals together, the Top Chef winner served plates like bratwurst-crumble-topped grilled baby lettuce and sopressatta-strewn gnocchi — and they were a huge hit with everyone, including Dietz & Watson's top brass. Yep, the whole family was there, save for Momma Dietz, who is recovering from a stroke suffered last month.