Newsletter for Friday, April 3
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
These airport workers struck on City Hall yesterday for a higher minimum wage. Picture via @stanleyphoto on Instagram.
JURY: PENN STUDENT’S OCCUPY ARREST WAS WRONG, HERE’S $80K
A federal jury sided with a Penn student who said he was wrongly arrested while watching the Occupy protests at City Hall. Police filed a federal assault charge (among others) against Gregory Harris, saying the doctoral student whacked a bicycle officer with his forearm. But a judge later threw out those charges, and Harris sued. The jury awarded him $80,000. Earlier this year, MuckRock.com analyzed public records and found that the city of Philadelphia paid out more than $40 million in damages and settlements as a result of nearly 600 misconduct lawsuits brought against the police department since 2009. So there’s somewhat of a history here, guys.
WATER WOES: ACRES OF OLD, LEAKY PIPES BETWEEN YOU AND THAT SCHUYLKILL PUNCH
Philadelphia’s status as one of the first-developed cities in America is what gives it an unparalleled historical charm — but it also means the city that William Penn founded has REALLY started to show its age over the past several decades. That age is largely evident in the city’s 200-year-old water pipe system and the infrastructure that surrounds how this city drinks. Now, the Philadelphia Water Department is tasked with inspecting and maintaining more than 3,000 miles of mains that are springing leaks, as literally millions of dollars’ worth of water drips away.
TO DO: THE BIG PHILLY EASTER PROMENADE
WHAT: A Promenade down South Street, replete with Mr. and Mrs. Cottontail and live music
WHERE: South and Passyunk
WHEN: 12:30 PM
HOW MUCH: Free
BILLY PENN LIKES
CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP: THE WORLD OF BIKE MESSENGERS IN PHILLY
The average bike messenger request doesn’t call for lightning speed. Most require delivery within an hour and come with a payment of about $3.50 for the rider. But good messengers don’t settle for one ride in an hour. They wait a while after getting one assignment and hope the dispatcher for the courier service they work for as an independent contractor calls out for another delivery nearby. One job turns into three, $3.50 an hour turns into $10.50 and a leisurely ride turns lightning-quick. How many of these workers are in Philly? What cut that workforce into 1/3 the size it was? And why do they do it? We caught up with some messengers to answer these and many more questions.
INSIDE NITTANY NOTES: HOW THE NOTE-TAKING SERVICE AT PENN STATE JUST KEEPS GROWING
What if you could go to college and (almost) never go to class? At Penn State, there’s a downtown business where students — slackers and hardworkers alike — can walk in, buy class notes from their courses, and head immediately to the bar. The craziest part? It’s all completely legal. Welcome to Nittany Notes, the small company that launched in 1984 with notes for 25 classes and has grown into a service that provides notes for 325 classes that thousands of Penn State students rely on every year.