On May 25th, 26-year-old paralegal Julia Law was found dead inside the tony Rittenhouse Square apartment of her boss and lover, prominent Philadelphia defense attorney Chuck Peruto. Peruto told police he was at the Shore the night of Law’s death, but the circumstances were suspicious enough that District Attorney Seth Williams has convened a grand jury to investigate the case.
On Saturday night, the residents of the figurative Geekadelphia — expressing myriad interpretations of “black tie” — descended upon The Academy of Natural Sciences for the sold-out third-annual Philadelphia Geek Awards hosted by the actual Geekadelphia. The ceremony, a celebration of the city’s burgeoning science, tech and innovation scene, bestowed 14 awards, ranging from Hacker of the Year and Viral Project of the Year to Web Project of the Year and the prestigious Geek of the Year, presented by celebs such as CBS3′s Nicole Brewer, quiz master Johnny Goodtimes, Science Cheerleader Darlene Cavalier and Mystery Science Theater 3000‘s Joel Hodgson.
Today the Phillies parted ways with their longtime skipper, Charlie Manuel — one of just two men to lead the local 9 to the pinnacle of Major League Baseball. It was an emotional press conference, with Cholly, in his folksy way, explaining that he “did not resign, did not quit.”
It’s the Band-Aid we all knew was going to be ripped off sometime in the near future, but that doesn’t make it any less excruciating.
It reminded us of these other painful Philadelphia breakups.
5. Charles Barkley Traded to Phoenix Suns for ray of sunshine Jeff Hornacek (and Andrew Lang and Tim Perry).
The round mound of rebound’s departure left the Sixers devoid of talent and personality.
4. Ed and Midge Rendell get a “gray divorce”
While it was perhaps no surprise that the Gov. and his wife of 40 years threw in the towel, it was no less heartbreaking.
3. Eric Lindros and the Flyers finally call it quits.
When Bobby Clarke traded Lindros to the Rangers for a bunch of have-beens and never-would-bes, it was the culmination of a long, ugly relationship that was as painful as its end was sweet relief for all involved.
2. Steve Carlton rejects retirement, gets released
Carlton had lost his fastball thanks to rotator cuff issues. After a 1-8 season in 1985 and a miserable first half of 1986, Phillies brass approached Lefty about retiring. When he refused, the club released their future Hall of Famer, and Phils fans had to watch him kick around the league like a vagabond until teams finally stopped giving him chances.
1. Mike Schmidt retires, bawls like a baby
When Michael Jack decided he didn’t have it anymore, he didn’t drag things out. He announced his retirement on May 29, 1989, just two months into the season.
Earlier this week, Victor Fiorillo uncovered a previously un-reported incident of a violent altercation involving Terrence Howard at a Philadelphia-area diner.
He discussed that story this morning on WMMR’s Preston & Steve Show. Listen here:
Center City dwellers and workers now have a fancy-pants new place to buy their high-end hooch with the opening of the 7,700-square-foot Fine Wine & Good Spirits — Premium Collection store at 21st and Market. This store replaces the store at 19th and Chestnut.
At the ribbon-cutting, reports CBS3, State Rep. Brian Sims, in whose district the new store sits, weighed in on the state’s ongoing monopoly of the booze biz:
“The work that gets done here literally helps our schools, helps our seniors, and helps this state’s bottom line. … So thank you all very very much for being here. I expect all of you to drink responsibly, but I expect all of you to buy your booze in center city!”
Which is to say, drink up — for the children. Cuz this school budget thing isn’t going to solve itself.
At long last, South Philadelphians who’d resigned themselves to the long slog to Northern Liberties to get their fix of indie rock club shows have an option that doesn’t involve leaving early to catch the El or biking home down Columbus Boulevard at 2 a.m.
Boot and Saddle, shuttered in 1995, will re-open “under the direction of R5 Productions” — who also book shows at Union Transfer, Johnny Brenda’s, Morgan’s Pier and First Unitarian Church among others — as a 150-person-capacity live music venue and 60-seat restaurant. The first show will be Sept. 9 featuring The Both, aka Aimee Mann and Ted Leo.
The kitchen will be open from 5 p.m. till 2 a.m., seven days a week. The bar is expected to feature 10 rotating local craft beers.
Full opening lineup after the jump.
Saturday night, Ke$ha headlined the penultimate night of Bethlehem’s Musikfest. The second performance of the second North American leg of her Warrior tour — and the closest she’ll get to Philadelphia — took place in front of the iconic Bethlehem Steel stacks.
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Today is get-out-of-jail day for former State Sen. Vince Fumo. He’s scheduled to spend six months in a halfway house before returning to his Green Street digs. It’ll give him some time to readjust to all the things that have changed in Philadelphia since he’s been off in Ashland, Ky.
3. We worry about tornadoes here now constantly.
5. Back then, the daily papers were owned and run by a politically connected power-hungry local. Now … never mind.
File under: Be careful what you wish for.
On the heels of what now seems like an oddly timed New York Times profile of the Washington Post‘s fourth-generation publisher Katharine Weymouth comes news that Jeff Bezos, Grand Moff at Seattle mega e-tailer Amazon, is dropping $250 million in cash to purchase the paper:
Seattle-based Amazon will have no role in the purchase; Bezos himself will buy the news organization and become its sole owner when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days. The Post Co. will change to a new, still-undecided name and continue as a publicly traded company without The Post thereafter.
Bezos’ Amazon has been particularly adept at finding inefficiencies in legacy-bound systems (e.g., book publishing and distribution, retailing, warehousing) and then disrupting the heck out of them. It stands to reason that if anyone can find a solution to print journalism’s woes, it’s Bezos. But be forewarned: If Bezos’ strategy in the book biz is any example, the establishment might not like the solutions he comes up with.
Now that the Phillies season is toast, thanks to the team’s current 1-13 wipe-out, it’s time think about next year… and beyond.
The non-waiver trade deadline has passed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get our ducks in a row, now.
Here, in order, are the 5 Phillies who MUST go, somehow, some way, between now and spring training. (And, no, we’re not including Antonio Bastardo, though today we’d really like to.)
1. Jonathan Papelbon: He was a bad sign two years ago, and that was before he started squawking about guns and doing his Jose Mesa impression. Pray he’s healthy then send him and Cinco Ocho out of town on a rail.
2. Pick a Young, any Young: At best, Michael and Delmon Young were supposed to be nothing more than stopgap rentals for the Phils. With nothing left to contend for this season, there’s no reason either of these guys should be taking playing time away from Cody Asche or Darin Ruf.
3. Jimmy Rollins: Despite missing lots of time to injury this year, Chase Utley has still been the eighth most valuable second baseman in baseball. Not so for his double-play partner, whose bat, glove and wheels are declining, and who is earning $11 million this year to play replacement-level baseball.
4. Charlie Manuel: It’s been fun, Cholly, but folksy awesomeness notwithstanding, the last few seasons have called your bona fides as a hitting guru, and your ability to manage through adversity, into question. From your post as manager, we bid you nothing but the fondest adieu. But we do bid you adieu. Bring on the Ryne Sandberg era. May you be rewarded with a Phillies assistant GM golden parachute. So long as that GM isn’t…
5. Ruben Amaro: My friend and former rotisserie baseball opponent David Faris wrote some 7,000 words on this topic over at City Paper. I’ll boil it down for you: Amaro’s lousy, and has dug the team into a financial hole it’ll be lucky to climb out of. His free spending ways and old-school approach are galling. As my colleague Stephen Silver put it earlier today:
Under Ruben Amaro, the Phillies do a lot of things organizationally that sabermetric types tend to frown upon, such as “signing declining veterans to huge contracts,” “failing to plan ahead,” “not making any trades at the deadline when you have pieces to sell” and “having Delmon Young on your team.”
Hey hey, ho ho, Ruben Amaro’s got to go.… but make him jettison his mistakes, first. (We’re assuming we’re stuck with Ryan Howard, who’d be a fine if overpaid platoon player, for the length of his ill-advised extension.)