What We've Found
The Naked City blog spotted this Girls Gone Wild bus at Second and Callowhill streets. A young man in a sweatshirt was sitting in the bus' passenger seat.
Is this what we think it is? Are they filming here in Philly for Girls With Low Self Esteem, er, Girls Gone Wild?
The Naked City tried calling the series' press number, to no avail. It was disconnected.
Jeffrey Billman here with your morning fix:
Inga Saffron would like you to know that, despite his alleged personal flaws, Carl Greene was pretty good at his job.
City Council gets ready to debate DROP, then went and awarded a $125,000 contract to a buddy of Anna Verna's who took a $528,000 DROP payment last year. (When I had my introductory meeting with Verna 11 months ago, after arriving in town, Charles McPherson was in the room.)
Poverty hits a 15-year high in the United States. Austerity now! (Actually, in today's good news: The Senate finally passed a bill to help small businesses with tax cuts and other measures; Republicans almost unanimously voted against it.)
The DRPA that's the, um, port authority has shelled out $40,000* to buy and keep a liquor license since 1999. And yes, tolls on the Ben Franklin are going up.
A couple in Susquehanna County has sued a natural gas driller for allegedly contaminating their water well with fracking fluids. The energy company denies any problem with their wells; of course they do. Fracking is totally safe, remember?
So, who else is going to Jon Stewart's DC shindig on Oct. 30?
Jeffrey Billman here with your morning fix:
Shockingly, and I know you're shocked, but that PHA scandal keeps on keeping on. But! Not to be outdone, the DRPA is also making a play for most hated regional government entity. Besides the PPA. Of course, there's always the PLCB, too.
Also shocking: The city does not adequately fund its ethics board.
Apparently, motorcycle gang wars are still things that the feds have to worry about.
The Inky asks a good question: Why the hell was the Rendell administration paying a company to spy on its citizens, when that state police already monitors supposed terrorist threats? This contract, the story notes, was not competitively bid; Rendell insists that while many people in his administration knew about it, he was not one of them. Which makes you wonder who's running the show over there.
Danny DeVito looks really creepy in the photo accompanying an NBC Philadelphia story about how It's Always Sunny has kept him young.
Mayor Nutter insists, again, that DROP has to go. City Council doesn't much seem to care.
Pa. Senate Republicans know that the state's roads suck, but would like to put off a funding bill until next year. After all, what's the hurry?
Philly Naked Bike Ride organizers are now suing to prevent the release of a DVD of the event they don't like. A lawyer tells WHYY they don't have much of a case. Which is what I argued earlier this week.
The Phils are now up three games in the NL East.
Jeffrey Billman here with your morning fix:
Three people in Atlantic City told authorities they saw someone fall out of a plane without a parachute. The cops have yet to find a body.
Ed Rendell is "appalled" that his administration was tracking anti-gas drilling activists a story broken, in part, by our very own Isaiah Thompson. From the Inky:
"Let me make this as clear as I can make it," the governor said at news conference Tuesday night, pounding his fist on the podium. "Protesting against an idea, a principle, a process, is not a real threat against infrastructure. Protesting is a God-given American right, a right that is in our Constitution, a right that is fundamental to all we believe in as Americans."
After the Teamsters union refused to budge on renegotiating their contract, the prospective deal for Philadelphia Media Network, led by a New York hedge fund, to buy the Inky, DN and philly.com has fallen apart. A new auction is set for next week. The Newspaper Guild is not happy, and claims the drivers union has threatened "thousands of jobs and the entire company by hijacking and derailing the closing process."
In a visit to the Masterman School, Barack Obama told students at the elite
charter magnet: "Your life is what you make of it," Obama said. "And nothing absolutely nothing is beyond your reach. So long as you're willing to dream big. So long as you're willing to work hard. So long as you're willing to stay focused on your education."
Philly has paid out more than $32 million to settle lawsuits over the last year or so. Fox 29 is there.
Cole Hamels* struck out 13, and the Phils' 2-1 win against the Marlins by the way, did anyone else notice how empty the Fish's stadium was? Jesus gives them a two-game lead over the Braves in the NL East, after the Braves lost to the Nationals. The Braves are coming to the Bank next week in what could well be a decisive series, and I will be there.
Jeffrey Billman here with your morning fix:
Footnote: Jim Greer, the former Florida GOP leader who started that whole "indoctrination" meme ahead of last year's back to school speech, has apologized, both for those remarks and for his party's racism. It's worth noting that Greer is now facing criminal charges related to his management of the Florida GOP.
Will Bunch gives a thumbs-up to the new, opinion-friendly Fox 29 news format. Cosign.
If it's a day that ends in "y", there's another Carl Greene scandal hitting the front page.
Tony Blair was in town last night to receive the Liberty Medal from former President Bill Clinton at the National Convention Center. Clinton cited his work on climate change, Kosovo and reconciling with Ireland. We'll leave that unpleasantness about Iraq for another day.
And, finally, someone stole a 50-pound tortoise from a store in Delaware.
Jeffrey Billman here with your morning fix.
The Republican primary in Delaware is too close to call, as extremist candidate Christine O'Donnell a serious (as in, Victorian) prude, and who the GOP state party leader has said âcould not be elected dogcatcherâ has evened up the race. Chris Coons (and Democrats everywhere) thank you, teabaggers.
Four people, including one Temple student, are killed in a Megabus accident en route to Toronto, when the driver made a wrong turn and the top deck slammed into a railroad bridge.
Dear Pennsylvania, please make Kate Gosselin go away once and for all.
That Oswalt trade is looking pretty good for the Phils. The Eagles lost, and to make matters worse, QB Kevin Kolb and LB Stewart Bradley went out then came back, then went out again with concussions.
A woman is found dead in an, um, illegal massage parlor in Center City. Cops are suspicious.
Looks like we're back to kids killing each other for sneakers. Wonderful.
Stephanie Johnson here with the return of your morning fix.
A YouTube video shows a bunch of Philly cops beating a West Philly man with their batons while he was lying on the ground. The cops then charged the dude they beat with aggravated assault. âNot every arrest ends with someone saying, âThank you,'â says PPD spokescop Lt. Frank Vanore said. Gee, Philly cops not taking police brutality allegations seriously? Can't imagine. There's an Internal Affairs investigation pending. Take a wild guess how that will turn out.
A Manayunk resident complains that the 3 1/2 ton bell atop the St. John the Baptist church sounding 18 times at 7 a.m. disturbs her quality of life. This bell has, of course, been ringing for most of the past 104 years; long before said resident moved into the area, one presumes. Councilman Jim Kenney, last seen wanting to sue the Internet, has proposed a bill to exempt churches and schools from noise pollution laws.
Randy Bates, president of the National Haunted House Association which is, it seems, a real job wants to turn Pennhurst, a two-decades-vacant state school for disabled youth in Spring City, into a haunted house. Not everyone is pleased with this idea: âThe idea of a fake electric shock room in a place where disabled children suffered unimaginable horrors isn't sitting well with some in the community,â says the CBS story. Bates, meanwhile, says that shit happened 30 years ago and they should get over it.
Down in Florida, the Rev. Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville has abandoned his plans to torch a bunch of Qurans (and set off an international incident), based, he says, on the deal he reached with a Orlando Muslim leader to move the so-called "ground zero mosque" in New York City someplace else. Problem is, said Orlando Muslim leader has nothing to do with the New York Muslim community center, so he's hardly in a position to move it (though he did apparently say he'd set up a meeting). Terry Jones is now calling the Orlando imam a liar. The entire world is still calling Terry Jones and asshole.
Christine Adkins here with your morning fix:
Toll booth workers are going to get nicer! At least thats the hope, after the NJ Turnpike forces collectors to take mandatory customer service courses. Also, click here for a veritable treasure trove of NJ Turnpike complaints.
April Fools Day is here, so get ready for apps that help practical jokers make the best of this holiday.
Haiti just received more aid, this time its over $10 billion from international donors via the UNs conference Towards a New Future for Haiti.
Natives on both sides arent fans of the proposed marriage between Indian tennis player Sania Mirza and Pakistani cricket player Shoaib Malik. The announcement sparked protests, many citizens publicly burning photos of the international stars.
Thoughts on the newest Apple invention, the iPad? Let em rip folks.
Lara Coleman here with your morning afternoon fix:
On Friday, Facebook proposed a new feature called "place," which allows users add their locations to their Facebook page. Creepy.
President Obama returns this morning from a "surprise visit" to Afghanistan to meet with President Karzai to discuss the Afghan government, as well as to greet and praise American troops.
More than 35 people are dead in Russia after two unknown female suicide bombers set off explosions during Monday's morning rush hour at two subway stations in central Moscow.
As technology threatens their livelihoods, 18,000 rickshaw drivers in India remain loyal to their jobs despite urges from police and action groups to end this mode of transportation.
Philadelphia explores the idea of implementing modular, or factory-built, houses in order to cut the high costs of housing and also to keep up with the growing demand for homes.
Put down the SunnyD. Dr. JoAnn Manson at Brigham and Women's Hospital believe that studies linking Vitamin D to good health may be incorrect, or at least very exaggerated.
The NCAA Final Four are in: Michigan State, West Virginia, Butler and Duke. Go team.
The cafeteria of West Philly's Harambee Charter School on North 66th Street doubles as a nightclub on Saturday nights. Officials are discussing the issue today.
Lara Coleman here with your morning OK-it's-always-noontime-now fix:
Will McNabb go to St. Louis? Thats the question facing Eagles managers a question Philly fans are anxious to learn the answer to.
What a world: Catholic officials seem to be de facto supporting a priest (by not defrocking him) on trial for molesting over 200 deaf boys. Seriously, is 2012 here yet?
For the first time in a looooong time three decades to be specific Social Security recipients wont get an increase in their benefits come next year.
US Marines find themselves in a difficult situation: If they destroy opium crop fields, they may very well likely lose the support of Afghanis. Awkward.
The U.N. agrees to protect one type of shark while allowing others to be hunted freely, mainly by the Japanese for shark fin soup.
Obama is the next Bush?! The new administration is rethinking everything from Gitmo to trial detainees.
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