A harsh new report from Amtrak's Office of Inspector General (PDF) found numerous security lapses at 30th Street Station. Among the most striking: the exterior doors of the station cannot be locked, either because they don't have locks or because no one on staff has keys. Another: among 450 people with badge access, only 26 employees actually work at the station. Separate issue: some combination locks on gates leading to rail yards haven't been changed in decades. So far, per the report, $12 million has been spent to address these problems. Another $20 million in spending is recommended. "Amtrak has been underfunded for years," Sen. Bob Casey told NBC10, "and this is one more example why we need to invest in our national infrastructure."
Judging from the lines stretching down the block in Chinatown Monday morning, Philly is full of procrastinators. It was the last day of the PPA’s two-month-long parking amnesty program, which promised to forgive parking tickets dated 2013 or earlier. Philadelphians turned out by the dozen at the PPA’s Ninth and Filbert location to take advantage. The PPA had its hands full, but city officials promised they’d stay as late as necessary to serve everyone in line.
The battle has been raging for decades. Which is better, Wawa or Sheetz? According to a new analysis, Twitter likes Sheetz better — unless you only look at tweets near Philly. And even then, it’s debatable. Using a set of open source scripts, Philly developer Ben Garvey. analyzed nearly 50,000 tweets containing the two brand names, and quantified how many were positive, negative or neutral. The results were close, but overall, Sheetz appears to have an edge.
Joe Nester made a triumphant return to Philadelphia last month. The 34-year-old singer-songwriter now travels with a band that draws crowds full of avid fans, some of whom even have tattoos inspired by his songs. Last time Nester was in Philly, he was a serious heroin user, living on the streets and stealing goods to make cash to get high. Since leaving and getting into recovery, Nester had been nervous about coming back to his old stomping ground. But the homecoming turned out even better than planned.
- Thanks, Instagram users, for starting up the #BillyPennGram posts. The hashtag led us to the gorgeous photo above. Keep 'em coming.
- Sad about no more token sales? There's a necklace for your nostalgia. Made in West Philly, it can be yours for all of $12.
- If you haven't seen the slo-mo GIF of this pug being surprised by the Phillie Phanatic's nose skills, it's exactly what you need to get through the week.
- The focus on journalism in the national news the past couple days has been dominated by talk about the White House Correspondents' Dinner, but comedian Pete Dominick had great point: "The vast majority of journalists don't cover Washington or national poltics," he wrote on Twitter. "They get paid shit money to report extremely important local stories. And they are struggling." 👋 Hi! The journalism we do here depends on your support. If you find value in it, please consider making a contribution here.
Dr. Alan Stern, the principal investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto, and Dr. David Grinspoon, chair of astrobiology at the Library of Congress, will talk about their book about the science, politics and egos of the 3 billion-mile trip to the edge of our solar system.
Where: Parkway Central Library at 1901 Vine St., 19103
When: May 2, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
How much: Free