Newsletter for Thursday, March 24
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
Spring kicks in for Rittenhouse Square; photo via @stacyelle on Instagram.
TOM WOLF CAVES ON GOP BUDGET, AS ANOTHER BATTLE LOOMS
Hey so remember all the fights in Harrisburg over last year’s budget that wasn’t? All the dancing, the competing bills, the blown-up compromises? It’s over, at least for now. Yesterday Gov. Tom Wolf said he’d let the state GOP’s latest budget proposal pass without his signature. He’s not thrilled with the measure — that’s why he won’t sign it — but it gets money flowing to schools and universities that have been borrowing from banks to pay their bills. PennLive notes that Republicans won, mostly by avoiding tax increases to pay for what Wolf promised on the campaign trail. But they won by running out the clock, and a new budget needs to be done by July 1. (Stop laughing.)
HOW THE WELLS FARGO CENTER TRANSFORMED FOR THE SWEET 16
WWE Raw finished Monday night around 11 at the Wells Fargo Center. Tuesday morning at 7, a truck arrived at the arena stocked with NCAA swag: Hundreds of wooden pieces that needed to be put together for the court for Friday’s NCAA Sweet 16 games. No more than three hours later, the job was nearly done. The Wells Fargo Center had a brand new court. Here’s how they did it — and how the Center, fairly often, changes its setup to accommodate the events inside.
Incumbent Democratic Congressman Chaka Fattah will face off against Democratic challengers Dwight Evans, Brian Gordon and Dan Muroff, as well as Republican challenger James Jones. Sam Katz will moderate the event, hosted by the Center City Residents Association.
Where: Helen Corning Warden Theater at 1920 Spruce Street
When: March 24, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
How much: Free
BILLY PENN LIKES
GUESS WHO’LL PAY WHEN THE SODA TAX HITS PHILLY RESTAURANTS & BARS?
If Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposed soda tax is enacted, don’t expect restaurants and bars to foot the bill. Whether or not they’re officially opposed to the measure, many in the industry say they plan to pass along the entire cost of the 3-cents-per-ounce tariff on sugary drinks to the consumer. That’s in contrast to what happens in Berkely, Calif., the only other city in the U.S. to implement a soda tax. Studies have shown that there, only around 50 to 70 percent of the increase is passed along. Here, owners we reached told us they expect their customers to foot the bill they expect to face.
NEW ROLES AND TITLES FOR A PAIR OF OUR EDITORS
We’ve given new titles to a pair of Billy Penn editors: Shannon Wink is now our Managing Editor, and Danya Henninger is our new Culture Editor. Shannon, who joined Billy Penn prior to its October 2014 launch from NewsWorks, formerly held the title of Community Manager. Danya started as our part-time Weekend Editor in May. Here’s more about what both will be doing for us in the days ahead.