Kenney Bans City-Funded Travel to North Carolina, Mississippi

Mayor Jim Kenney is placing a ban on non-essential city-funded travel to the states of North Carolina and Mississippi, Nellie Fitzpatrick, the city’s director of LGBT affairs, announced at a City Hall press conference Wednesday afternoon. The ban is in response to controversial new laws in those states — North Carolina’s H.B. 2 and Mississippi’s H.B. 1523 — that limit protections on LGBT persons.

Fitzpatrick made the announcement flanked by Pennsylvania Physician General Rachel Levine, who was in the city to discuss the importance of passing statewide non-discrimination legislation in the wake of Governor Wolf’s executive orders, and Rue Landau, executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. Read more »

Bill Green: I’m Taking Tom Wolf to Court Over SRC Ouster

Bill Green | City Council Flickr

Bill Green | City Council Flickr

Update: Governor Tom Wolf has responded to Bill Green’s claims that he lacked the authority to unseat him as chair of the SRC. A statement issued by his spokesman Jeffrey Sheridan reads:

“Governor Wolf used his authority, as provided by statute, to appoint the chair of the School Reform Commission and to bring new leadership to the school district, which has been devastated by education cuts. Even now, after the governor has fought for greater investment in education at all levels and started to restore the funding Philadelphia lost, the district is in dire financial straits and our children are at a disadvantage. Due to misguided and poor decisions made by Harrisburg politicians, the district has been forced to lay off educators, cut important programs and slash transportation, security and other vital services. Governor Wolf will continue fighting for more funding for education and to provide a new path forward for Philadelphia’s schools.”

Earlier: Last spring, after the School Reform Commission he chaired had approved five new charter schools in Philadelphia, Bill Green was removed from his role as chair by Governor Tom Wolf and replaced with fellow commissioner Marjorie Neff.

Wolf was said to not want any new charter schools approved. Neff had voted against the new charter applications. At the time, Green, a former Philadelphia City Councilman, had said he planned to challenge the governor’s authority to make such a move. Then some time passed, and that challenge never came. Fast forward one year, and Green, in an oped in today’s Inquirer, says his challenge is coming now.  Read more »

Ed Snider, Flyers Chairman, Has Died

Ed Snider at the 2010 demolition of The Spectrum. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Ed Snider at the 2010 demolition of The Spectrum. Photo | Jeff Fusco

The children of Ed Snider announced this morning that Snider, the chairman of Comcast-Spectacor and founder and longtime face of the Philadelphia Flyers franchise, has died after a two-year battle with cancer. His death comes just days after his Flyers clinched a playoff berth that most thought was unlikely when the season began.

“He fought his last years, months and days with courage and grace and recounted his love for many including his Flyers family and fans,” read the statement from his family. “We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the community, his friends and all those who were fortunate to have been touched by him in some way, large or small.” Read more »

Villanova Wins National Championship, Twitter Goes Bonkers

Villanova's Phil Booth celebrates after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against North Carolina, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. Villanova won 77-74.

Villanova’s Phil Booth celebrates after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against North Carolina, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. Villanova won 77-74.

It’s been a rough sporting year here in Philadelphia, what with the rebuilding, and the tanking, and the other team tanking, oh, and the Rube Goldberg self-destruct device that was Chip Kelly‘s final Eagles season. Which might explain why when Kris Jenkins sealed Villanova’s first NCAA Championship since 1985 with a breath-taking, buzzer-beating trey, Twitter erupted with a wave of euphoria not seen around here since Brad Lidge put one past Eric Hinske. There’s a lot of great #Villanova tweets out there. These are just a few of our favorites: Read more »

Wolf Calls Republican Budget “Ridiculous” “Garbage.” Promises Line-Item Veto

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks with members of the media Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Wolf says he is rejecting parts of a $30.3 billion state budget plan that's already a record six months overdue, but he's freeing up over $23 billion in emergency funding.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks with members of the media Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Wolf says he is rejecting parts of a $30.3 billion state budget plan that’s already a record six months overdue, but he’s freeing up over $23 billion in emergency funding.

Last week, in a pre-Christmas shocker, the state’s Senate — contrary to reports that they’d reached an agreement with Gov. Tom Wolf on his “framework” budget — reversed course and signed off on the House’s “stopgap” version of the state spending bill. When Wolf’s swift response did not include the word “veto” (he’d previously promised to strike down the stopgap version should it make it to his desk), many wondered if the state’s protracted, damaging and — let’s be frank — embarrassing budget standoff had finally ended.

Not so fast! In a statement yesterday, Wolf showed his veto pen is not just for show. Read more »

Photos: Mass Exodus After Pope Francis’s Parkway Mass

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Mass exodus on the Parkway. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Following Pope Francis’s massive Mass on the parkway, a whole lot of people have found themselves making their way home, or to their hotels, or AirBnBs, or couch stays and the like. Jeff Fusco captured the scene at Broad and Walnut, and reports that crowds at Broad and Spring Garden station were also large. Bradley Maule caught the crowds at 30th Street Station.

SEPTA has some helpful tips for  the commute home, but first suggest: Perhaps you might grab a bite because you may be waiting a while otherwise:  Read more »

Joe Biden Gets Emotional in Gripping Stephen Colbert Interview

Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in New York. During the event, Biden, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and actress Mariska Hargitay announced almost $80 million in grants to help eliminate a vast nationwide backlog of rape kits.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in New York. During the event, Biden, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and actress Mariska Hargitay announced almost $80 million in grants to help eliminate a vast nationwide backlog of rape kits.

Veep, former Delaware Senator and son of Scranton Joe Biden got deep on the third episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. In an interview that was light on jokes and heavy on substance (watch below), Colbert and the vice president got candid and personal when discussing family loss (which both host and guest have experienced) and Biden’s will-he-or-won’t-he flirtation with a presidential run.

“Go, Joe! Go, Joe!” chanted some in the audience, to which Biden smiled, “Be careful what you wish for.”

“I’d like to address the elephant in the room — which in this case is a donkey,” quipped Colbert after discussion of the “one job” being the president’s confidant and policy advisor prepares one for. “Do you have anything to tell us?” Read more »

Poll: Joe Biden Passes Bernie Sanders, Gains on Hillary Clinton

biden-hillary-warren-sanders-940x540

A new Monmouth University poll shows that still-not-a-candidate Joe Biden is gaining momentum, having passed (democratic) socialist Bernie Sanders and gained ground on problem emailer Hillary Clinton among voters who are registered or lean Democrat.

Of 339 respondents, 22% said they would back Veep, former Delaware Senator, son of Scranton Biden if the 2016 election were held today — up from just 12% a month ago. (FWIW, he scored 16% in this measure back in April when his nascent candidacy was extremely nascent.) While Sanders was eclipsed by Biden — granted, in a poll with a 5.3% margin of error — his support has also trended upward; his 20% support is up from 16% last month. The big “loser” here, of course, is Clinton, whose numbers ticked down from 52% to 42%. Read more »

Pope Francis Parkway Ticket Details Released

AP_pope-francis-vatican-4-940x540

Following today’s successful (and quick) disbursal of tickets for Pope Francis’ Independence Hall address, the Archdiocese has announced the details for ticket access for the pope’s two Parkway events.

Some 10,000 tickets for Pope Francis’ appearance at the Saturday Festival of Families will be released on Wednesday, September 9th at 4 p.m. at www.worldmeeting2015.org/tickets. 

Then, at 8 p.m., 10,000 more tickets for the pontiff’s Sunday Mass will be available at the same address. Read more »

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