Pa. Senator Wants to Legalize UberX, Lyft in Philly

Promotional photos from the press kits of Uber (left) and Lyft

Promotional photos from the press kits of Uber (left) and Lyft

Hailing an UberX may now be worse than taking a Philly cab these days, but the service’s popularity is undeniable. The problem? UberX (as well as Lyft, a competing ride-hailing app) is illegal in the city of Philadelphia.

A Harrisburg senator is hoping to change that. On Thursday, State Sen. Camera Bartolotta, a Republican, unveiled legislation that would legalize ride-hailing services in all areas of the state. Currently, UberX and Lyft are operating under temporary authority in all Pennsylvania counties except Philadelphia. The PPA has occasionally impounded UberX vehicles in sting operations.

“Legislation is necessary to ensure these companies are allowed to operate after the temporary authority expires. It is important for state laws to keep pace with the rate of modernization,” Bartolotta said in a statement. “While there is a golden opportunity for transportation network companies to provide new options for consumers, it is also necessary that we ensure these new services operate responsibly and safely.” Read more »

SEPTA Offers Optimism, Map for Pope’s Visit

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“Nothing gets you closer to the pope than SEPTA.”

Those were the exact words of SEPTA general manager Joseph M. Casey during a Thursday briefing, and he backed it up with some stats. He said all of SEPTA’s dropoff locations were within a 2-mile walk of what’s now being called the “Francis Festival Grounds.” Pope Francis arrives here for the end of the World Meeting of Families on September 26th and 27th.

“None of these distances are marathon walks,” Casey said. “When you exit 30th Street [Station], you can actually see the Art Museum… we hope you use SEPTA to see the pope.” The longest

Casey also said there are still more than 100,000 Regional Rail passes available available for $10. They are currently on sale at departure stations. Casey said that “there’s plenty of capacity out there.” Norristown High-Speed Line passes are available at 69th Street Terminal. Read more »

Online Voter Registration Coming to Pennsylvania

Photo by Derek Hatfield/Shutterstock.com

Photo by Derek Hatfield/Shutterstock.com

Pennsylvanians can now register to vote online by going to register.votespa.com.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced the policy change at a press conference today. He said online voter registration did not need legislative approval.

The National Conference of State Legislatures told the AP Pennsylvania will be the 23rd state to implement such a measure.

“Online registration… improves accuracy, increases the integrity of voter rolls,” Wolf said. “This online voter registration is also going to help our democracy. Judged by our voter turnout rates, we’re not as good as we used to be.” Read more »

New Center City Wawa Should Open on September 18th

Wawa Broad and Walnut

The sign outside the Broad and Walnut Wawa has been altered to reflect the pushed-up opening.

Center City’s first new Wawa in decades should be open by the end of the summer.

Wawa is hoping to open its new Broad and Walnut location about a week before Pope Francis visits Philadelphia, likely on September 18th, a company spokesperson confirmed to Philly Mag. The signs outside the former Robinson Luggage were recently changed from a Fall to a Summer opening.

Wawa first targeted an opening around Thanksgiving. Read more »

What Happens When Your “Nintendo 64″ Eagles Jersey Goes Viral

Jason Fanelli - Nintendo 64 Eagles jersey

Jason Fanelli in his Nintendo 64 Eagles jersey at the game against the Cowboys last year.

Jason Fanelli’s wife was just trying to give him a cute Christmas gift. She ended up making him a meme.

Fanelli, who lives in Norwood and is a lifelong Delco resident, is a freelance video game journalist. He also loves the Eagles (which you probably figured — he’s a lifelong Delaware County resident). His wife combined his two loves with her Christmas present two years ago: An Eagles jersey with the name Nintendo and the number 64.

He wore the jersey to 97.5 The Fanatic’s Fantasy Fest at Xfinity Live! last year. A stranger snapped a photo and sent it to ESPN’s Darren Rovell. He tweeted it to his hundreds of thousands of followers. Fanelli got a bit of attention.

But that paled in comparison to the amount of people who saw his photo (the same one taken in 2014) over the weekend. It was posted to the /r/gaming subreddit and became the nNumber One hot topic on the Reddit homepage. Suddenly Fanelli was deluged with comments from friends with one message: Hey, dude, you’re on Reddit!

“I don’t know who did it [post it to Reddit],” Fanelli says. “If I did, and if they happen to read this article, a message: ‘I would love to buy you a sandwich.'” Read more »

First Look at the Fishtown Fillmore

The "Fillmore Flag" at The Fillmore Philadelphia (Photo | Dan McQuade)

The “Fillmore Flag” at The Fillmore Philadelphia (Photo | Dan McQuade)

Philadelphia is just over a month from getting a Fillmore.

Of course, we had one before — briefly. The Fillmore, originally a San Francisco venue on Fillmore Street, was best known for its eventual incarnations as the Fillmore West in San Francisco and Fillmore East in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The original S.F. venue eventually re-opened after promoter Bill Graham’s death in 1994.

Live Nation began booking The Fillmore in 2007, and branded several venues around the country with the name. The Theater of Living Arts was rebranded as The Fillmore at TLA in 2007, but eventually changed the name back after audiences rejected it.

The new Live Nation venue, called the Fillmore Philadelphia, opens October 1st with a Hall & Oates concert in Fishtown at the old Ajax Metal Company building at Frankford and Delaware avenues. It might as well be an apology for attempting to re-brand the TLA.

“Every time we open a venue we learn a lot,” Live Nation Senior VP of Marketing Dave Fortin said on a tour of the under-construction venue Wednesday morning. “And this venue is really the culmination of a lot of lessons.” Read more »

WATCH: The Phillies Gave Up 8 Home Runs Last Night

Last week, we noted the Phillies had fallen back to earth after their hot second-half start, and mentioned the team had given up two huge homers in just a few days.

Things got worse against the Mets last night. The Phillies actually led in this game, 7-2, after homers by Ryan Howard, Cameron Rupp and Domonic Brown. Then the Mets ended the game on a 14-0 run, hitting eight homers in all during the 16-7 win. New York set team and Citizens Bank Park records for homers and a team record for extra base hits. The 11 combined homers tied a National League record.

The Mets were actually just one short of the NL record for homers in a game, which the Reds set in a 22-3 win against the Phillies in 1999 at Veterans Stadium. Read more »

WATCH: The Phillies Gave Up Two Monster Homers This Week

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The trade of Chase Utley to the Dodgers is not the only downer for Phillies fans this week. The hot streak that started after the All-Star break is over; please excuse the arbitrary endpoints, but the team has lost 7 of 9. Pete Mackanin is now 21-26 as Phillies manager. All of your favorites from the 2007-2011 teams are now on other squads, retired or hitting below league average.

And this week, the Phillies have given up two huge homers. Read more »

Carol Erickson, Formerly of CBS 3, Joins Calkins Media

Carol Erickson Meteorologist and TV personality Carol Erickson, who had been at CBS 3 since 1978 before leaving earlier this year, has been hired for a job at Calkins Media. The company owns several suburban papers in Philadelphia and New Jersey, most notably the Bucks County Courier Times, and three television stations in Florida.

In July, Erickson wrote on Facebook that — despite KYW’s purge of talent earlier this summer — she had been offered another contract by the station. “I have decided instead to focus my time on what means the most to me — animal welfare,” she wrote.

Joe Mason — a copy editor for the Courier, Doylestown Intelligencer and Burlington County Times — interviewed her on his podcast last night. Read more »

Montco State Rep. to Run for Attorney General

State Rep. Todd Stephens, who is a Republican and represents part of Montgomery County, announced today he was running for Attorney General in 2016. He released a four-minute video, primarily focusing on his time as a Montgomery County and federal prosecutor. Read more »

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