Soda tax backers and Mayor Jim Kenney's administration scored a major victory Wednesday: the Pa. Supreme Court ruled the controversial soda tax is legal. The court battle over the tax began shortly after the levy's passage in 2016, with funding for rec centers and pre-K tied up as the case moved through the appeals process. Kenney said the city will now move forward with its original plan, but this may not be the end of the fight. Why? Harrisburg.
Well, that escalated quickly. When we published our scoop that Made In America wouldn't return to the Ben Franklin Parkway, it was apparently the first anyone from Roc Nation had heard about it. "I woke up to read an article on Billy Penn that we’re not welcome back to the Parkway after 2018," an exec told the Inquirer. Jay-Z stepped in with a scathing Inky op-ed, calling out the mayor for "evicting" the event "through a media outlet." By end of day, Kenney was somewhat conciliatory, saying "I love Jay-Z" and reiterating the city wanted to work to find a new location (as our original story noted).
The new art show at Meg Saligman's Bella Vista studio isn't quite like anything else the famous muralist has done. If you're an Eagles fan, you might recognize her name: she's the one who painted the giant eagle gripping Tom Brady in its talons. That image still graces the front of her workshop. But inside is FIGMAGO ALIVE, a collaboration with choreographer Brian Sanders that ends up feeling like an escape room crossed with Fantasia.
- Mural Arts' "Trash Academy" will try to turn collected bandit signs into art.
- Philly state Rep. Mike O'Brien is no longer running for reelection.
- Sen. Pat Toomey on Russia: "The president's blindness to Vladimir Putin's hostile acts is very troubling to me."
- The Franklin Institute is "live tweeting" the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.
- LOL at this "EAGELS" poster a reader spotted in Virginia, featuring Pink and Justin Timberlake next to the Super Bowl champs.
- Ever tried a fish cake hot dog? You can find the Philly classic at Johnny Hots — or at Pat's King of Steaks.
The city is rolling out a major overhaul of its sexual harassment prevention policies. We'll publish a story detailing the changes later this morning, and Mayor Kenney will announce them publicly at a press conference at City Hall (11 p.m.).
🌺 Morning Glory Diner in Bella Vista is hosting a one-night pop-up beer garden to benefit organizing efforts for a big protest when VP Pence comes to town next week. Expect beer, champagne, punch and snacks. (Thursday, July 19, 7 to 10 p.m.)
🚀 Calling all Star Wars fans: This screening of A New Hope at the Mann comes with a live soundtrack provided by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Tickets for lawn seats start at $25. (Friday, July 20, 7:30 p.m.)
🍃 A Midsummer Night's Dream is best when performed outdoors, and The Mechanical Theater company picked a perfect location: Laurel Hill Cemetery. BYO blankets or chairs and snacks. (Friday and Saturday, July 20-21)
❓ Philly Quizzo is baaaaack! We've got a new date to host a night of Philly-themed questions and excellent prizes at the PHS Pop Up in West Philly. Plus, there's a fallback location so we won't have to cancel if it rains. See you there. (Wednesday, July 25, 6 to 9 p.m.)
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