The Philadelphia Board of Ethics has reached a settlement with District Attorney Seth Williams for $62,000 for failing to report 89 gifts and five sources of income between 2010 and 2015, the largest settlement in the Board’s 10-year history. The report states that 20 of the gifts Williams failed to disclose were from people “who had a financial interest that the District Attorney was able to substantially affect through official action.” Here are details from the report, plus background on what a sanction like this means.
A pair of Harrisburg lawmakers have a plan to levy a $5 entrance fee on strip clubs and other sexually oriented businesses to raise money for rape crisis centers and domestic violence centers. The bill, called the Sexually Oriented Businesses Revenue Act, was first introduced in the last session, ending up in the finance committee. One of the bill's co-sponsors tells Billy Penn they'll be bringing the bill back in the next two weeks. Here's what the bill entails, and how a PA gentlemen's club advocacy group plans to respond.
When presidential-appointed employees like the EPA’s Shawn Garvin assumed their positions, they knew their jobs would end at noon this Friday. That’s how many presidential appointments work. What they didn’t expect, like much of the country, was the man picking their eventual successors would be Donald Trump and the possible impact his decisions could have on the nation and Philadelphia as well. Here's a look at federal offices headquartered in Philly, as Trump's inauguration nears.
Cardboard, paints and markers will be supplied — or bring your own — for this evening session to make signs for the Philly Women's March on Jan. 21. Sip on $3 margaritas throughout the night; a portion of proceeds will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Where: Cantina Dos Segundos at 931 N. 2nd St. 19123
When: January 18, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
How much: Pay as you go (free supplies)
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Heads up, Sweetgreen fans: If you want to get your salad bowl fix, make sure you’re armed with plastic. As of Wednesday, Jan. 18, all area outposts of the healthy food fast-casual will be completely cashless. Customers will be able to pay via credit or debit card at the register, or can use the Sweetgreen app or website to place a pre-paid order. This is a company-wide policy, and every Sweetgreen in the US will eventually convert. Here's why the company is moving in that direction.
Be free, Philadelphia. The Rittenhouse Square wall ban is over. Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted that Philadelphians could sit where they like Saturday, but acknowledged the signs would likely stay up until Tuesday, as Monday was a city holiday. Indeed, the “No Sitting on the Wall Signs” were removed early yesterday morning. And indeed, Sittenhouse, a lunchtime event planned in protest of the ban, still went on. We asked "protesters" what their fave memories from the wall were over the years. Here's what they shared.
Philadelphia’s sugary drink tax went into effect January 1 and the only thing everyone seems to agree on is that it’s confusing. The 1.5 cents-per-ounce tax includes obvious things like soda as well as less-obvious beverages with sugar-based sweeteners. But customers across the city have been charged for the soda tax on items that don’t meet the requirements (ahem, hot sauce). Billy Penn has decided there’s only one way to get to the bottom of this. We want everyone in Philadelphia to tell us how much sugary drinks cost at their local supermarkets and corner stores. The form is quick, and responses will contribute to a soda tax map that will help guide shoppers.