Newsletter for Tuesday, Nov. 24
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
The new observation deck at One Liberty Place opens Saturday, but sneak previews have begun; apparently this Ben Franklin head greets visitors. Photo via @sayhellotoamerica on Instagram.
THE STORY BEHIND THE GUY WHO TRAINED SETH WILLIAMS’ PORNY PROSECUTORS
It wasn’t until last week that D.A. Seth Williams firmed up plans for the sensitivity training that he promised his prosecutors would receive nearly three months ago, Billy Penn has learned. Just before Labor Day, Williams promised that prosecutors Frank Fina, Marc Costanzo and Patrick Blessington to undergo sensitivity training. Enter motivational speaker Paul Meshanko, creator of the “Connecting with Respect” program. Here’s how Williams got to know Meshanko, and when he finalized plans to head to Philly.
WHAT YOU DON’T PAY SALES TAX ON IN PENNSYLVANIA
In Pennsylvania, you don’t have to pay sales tax on dry ice. Or pony rides. Or pumpkins, if you’re planning on one for dinner. Right now, there are hundreds of things exempt from the state’s sales tax. That could change as legislators work out the now-four-months-late state budget. Legislative officials tell The Inquirer that limiting sales tax exemptions could be a part of a larger budget framework reworking Pennsylvania’s tax system. Here’s everything that’s exempt from sales tax in PA.
HOW THE NEW YORKER CREATED THAT BEN FRANKLIN TURKEY THING
The myth goes that a turkey almost made the cut as America’s symbol because Philadelphia’s own Ben Franklin advocated for the bird. So, is it true? Did Franklin really want a turkey to be the symbol of the United States of America? Well… as you might imagine, it’s complicated.
If you have time to sneak away midday on Tuesday, make your way to Rittenhouse to catch the kick-off of the 44th annual 'Christmas in Fairmount Park' displays. Live ice carvings of historic houses will be surrounded by 'five golden ring dancers' and even 'one piper piping.'
Where: Rittenhouse Square at 18th & Walnut 19103
When: November 24, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
How much: Free
BILLY PENN LIKES
SEEKING THE NEXT STARS IN STEM
Billy Penn has been showing off some of Philly’s best leaders for more than a year now, and this time around, we’re looking to highlight some of the up-and-coming leaders in STEM. So far, we’ve highlighted everyone from union leaders to artists; you can view each of our monthly Who’s Next lists here. The intent of Billy Penn’s “Who’s Next” series is to highlight some of the most dynamic people working to shape our city every day. Our goal is to identify and track the next generation of leaders and influencers. Here’s how to nominate someone.
HELP US FIND THE ULTIMATE PHILLY HOLIDAY COOKIE
Cookies show up this time of year at everything from office parties to gift swaps to big family dinners, and the best thing about them is they come in all different flavors. And it seems everyone has their own special favorite, the one cookie that makes winter worthwhile, that elevates a cup of hot cocoa or makes milk palatable for the only time since childhood. In Philadelphia, we’ve got a cornucopia of bakeries putting out a huge range of holiday treats. Which one represents the season the best? Help us narrow down the list.