Newsletter for Wednesday, April 29
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
Civil War generals shine in Fairmount Park; photo via @chuckseye on Instagram.
PHILLY POLICE AND THE RIDE TAKEN BY BALTIMORE’S FREDDIE GRAY
In Philly, it’s called a “nickel ride” — based on the cost of an amusement park ride, apparently, before any of us were born. And since we’re talking about putting people who’ve just been arrested into the back of a van with a bench and no belt, a decades-old name might make sense. It’s also how Baltimore police transported Freddie Gray, who would later die with a nearly severed spine and a bruised voice box, leading to protests-turned-rioting for two nights straight. It would have to have stopped years ago, right? Uh. Well, a police inspector is expected to give his report to Commissioner Charles Ramsey today about how the department transports prisoners. And that report was commissioned after an Inquirer story… and that story came something like a dozen years after an Inquirer series investigating “nickel rides.”
INDEGO SO FAR: THOUSANDS OF TRIPS TAKEN
Bike Share is here, and thousands of Philadelphians have already experienced it. Philly’s shiny new Indego system launched Thursday with 600 bikes at nearly 60 station locations across the city. Since then more than 3,500 trips have been taken, and 1,200 people have signed up for monthly memberships. Andrew Stober, a spokesman from the Mayor’s Office of Transportation Utilities, said that each bike was being ridden on average twice per day during bike share’s inaugural weekend, which he said is “really good after only being in operation three days.” We’ve got more details about Indego’s opening weekend here.
MAYORAL CANDIDATES TALK ‘PARKS, PEDALS AND POLITICS’
Outside the Llama Tooth restaurant near 11th and Spring Garden, mayoral candidate Doug Oliver described the Monday night conversation as something few people could have imagined just a decade ago. He remembered gun stores and violence, and told the crowd that by choosing to live in Philadelphia and in areas like Northern Liberties, they were helping foster improvement. “Thank you for now forcing the issue on the city of Philadelphia,” Oliver said. Oliver was joined by mayoral candidate Anthony Williams, a spokesperson for candidate Nelson Diaz, City Council candidate Paul Steinke and other speakers as part of the “Parks, Pedals and Politics” event hosted by the Spring Garden Street Greenway. Here’s a few of the things they told a crowd of about 50 people.
TO DO: BUST SOME SCIENCE MYTHS
WHAT: Nerd Nite at Frankford Hall, where you can join myth busting nerds and examine popular myths and their logical rebuttals.
WHERE: Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave.
WHEN: 7:30 PM
HOW MUCH: $5
BILLY PENN LIKES
WHY POLITICIANS ARE ALWAYS TRYNA PRIVATIZE THE THINGS
The PGW deal is dead in the ground. The fight over liquor privatization rages on in Harrisburg. And remember that time they wanted to sell off the state lottery system? Privatizing state-run services to outside corporations can bring in a fast influx of cash for ailing governments and can remove thousands of employees from future pension programs to save money down the road. But it’s a fix of the quickest sort: The cash brought in from selling them off runs dry, and less public support means, ultimately, less accountability and much less transparency. Here’s some of the services in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania that *could* be sold off to private companies, and what that might mean for the government and for you.
PHILLYWOOD: WHICH MOVIES GET FILMED HERE, AND HOW TO BE AN EXTRA
“Rocky” isn’t the only movie in town anymore. The local entertainment scene has grown greatly since the ’80s and ’90s when only a handful of projects got filmed on a regular basis in Philadelphia. But Sharon Pinkenson, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, believes the region could handle a lot more business. With our rivers, historical buildings, prisons and college campuses, the city offers plenty of good settings. Tax credits helped popularize Philadelphia for film producers, but Pinkenson argues there’s not enough money to spread around. Here’s Billy Penn’s look at the state of filming in Philly, how it reached this point and where it could go.