State Rep From Philly Wants to Drug-Test His Peers

Angel cruz / drug testing bill

Over the weekend, Congress approved a bill that would allow states to subject those on unemployment to random drug testing. President Trump has said he will sign the bill.

So far, Pennsylvania does not drug-test recipients of any public assistance, whether it’s welfare or otherwise. But there is bill, in the state House of Representatives, that would subject one group to drug testing: Pennsylvania lawmakers.

It’s the brainchild of state Rep. Angel Cruz, who represents Pennsylvania’s 180th District (mostly West Kensington and parts of neighboring areas). He’s heard for years of lawmakers in Harrisburg who want to drug-test those receiving government assistance. So, several years ago, he decided if lawmakers wanted to drug-test those on welfare, why not drug-test lawmakers too?

“If we’re going to be lawmakers and we’re going to test people getting public money,” he tells Philadelphia magazine, “I think lawmakers should be the first ones. Let’s get the legislators tested, too, to set an example.” Read more »

Pier Finally Replaces Coaster Destroyed During Sandy

Coaster Sandy - Seaside Heights

AP Photo/Mel Evans

A new roller coaster is coming to Seaside Heights — finally.

In what was perhaps the most iconic image from Superstorm Sandy, the former Jet Star roller coaster at Casino Pier sat in the ocean, its underpinnings destroyed by the storm. It was in the surf for months before it was removed.

Now, the Hydrus, which includes a 72-foot vertical drop, will likely open sometime around April 8th. Read more »

Spring Travel: Get Hungry in the Poconos


Photo via istockphoto

If we’re being technical, the Lodge at Woodloch bills itself as a luxury spa destination — and with its indoor pool, salon, trio of hot tubs, and a treatment menu that stretches from body wraps, facials and massages to hydrotherapy and reiki, that’s certainly an apt descriptor. But this resort, tucked three hours away from Philly in the far northeast corner of our state, is also (surprise!) a food lovers’ paradise. Read more »

How the Eagles Helped Found Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House

Image via Google Street View

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It’s a day to show off your Irish heritage (even if you don’t have any) and a day to celebrate the great contributions those of Irish heritage have made to this country. And it’s a day to celebrate the Philadelphia Eagles — and not just because they wear green.

That’s right: The Philadelphia Eagles franchise is partly responsible for the creation of the Ronald McDonald House, which launched in Philadelphia in 1974 with funds made from the sales of McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes. Really!

The Eagles have a nice writeup of the story today. Here’s what happened: The daughter of then-Eagles tight end Fred Hill, Kim, had been diagnosed with leukemia. He retired, but the Eagles still contributed to fundraisers. That led to then-Eagles general manager Jim Murray talking with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia about what it needed.

Dr. Audrey Evans, a pediatric oncologist, told Murray that CHOP needed a place for parents to stay. The Eagles looked for a corporate sponsor to help out. McDonald’s agreed to donate 25 cents from a week of Shamrock Shakes sales to fund what would become known as the Ronald McDonald House. Read more »

Why Villanova’s Win Was Never Really in Doubt

Mikal Bridges

Villanova guard Mikal Bridges handles the ball during the second half of a first-round NCAA Tournament game against Mount St. Mary’s. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Villanova kicked off its defense of its national title on Thursday night in Buffalo as the top seed in the entire NCAA tournament. The Wildcats faced Mount St. Mary’s, the 16th-seeded champions of the Northeast Conference. And for a while the Mountaineers got the better of Villanova.

’Nova missed its first eight shots. The Wildcats turned the ball over several times. At one point they were down 10-2. Would this be the first time a number-one seed lost in the first round?!

Well, no. Though the Wildcats trailed throughout almost the entire first half and led by just a point at halftime, the rest of the game went pretty much according to script. Villanova opened the second half on a 21-6 run, and won 76-56. The Wildcats will face Wisconsin in the second round on Saturday.

But there was reason to believe you shouldn’t have been worried at all. When Villanova was shooting 20 percent in the first half, The Mount needed to build a bigger lead if it wanted any chance to win. Stats guru Ken Pomeroy’s website gave Villanova a 97.5 percent chance to win the game going in. The Wildcats’ win probability never dipped below 92 percent. Read more »

How to Guarantee Yourself Hamilton Tickets When It Comes to Philly

Hamilton Poster

Hamilton is coming to Philadelphia!

Okay, so the smash-hit hip-hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton won’t be here for a while. But you can guarantee you get tickets to it when it comes here for the 2018–19 Broadway Philadelphia season now.

That’s the deal the Kimmel Center is running. If you become a subscriber for 2017–18, you can make sure you get tickets for Hamilton when it’s here the following season. Read more »

City Warns Residents of Falling Ice

Watch Out for Falling Ice sign

Photo | Dan McQuade

Ah, snow. The first day, it’s quite pretty. Then for the next week it’s a blot on our fine city. From snow piles that make crossing the street a game of King of the Mountain to slippery floors inside buildings and train stations, it’s been a rough couple of days walking around Philly.

There is also the danger of falling ice. And now the city is warning residents and building owners to beware. Read more »

Sixers Minor League Team to Wear Power Rangers Jerseys

Power Rangers

Image via Philadelphia 87ers

Hey kids! Remember the Power Rangers? Well now they’re back, in a new film coming out later this month. And the merchandising tie-ins are already here. Yes, 1990s nostalgia is in full swing.

For example: The Philadelphia 87ers — the minor league team of the Sixers — announced today that the team would be wearing pink Power Rangers jerseys for Friday night’s game against the Salt Lake City Stars. Read more »

Are We Really Going to Call the New Gallery “FOP”?

Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia rendering

Rendering via Macerich

Today’s Inquirer has an update on the renovation of The Gallery. The Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia — the “at Market East” has been dropped from the name — are not open yet, but they already have a website and recently hosted a fashion show and panel discussion at Century 21 for Philly Fashion Week. This thing is happening.

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns the mall with partner Macerich, told the paper the mall is 70 percent leased. But it won’t release the names of businesses that have agreed to lease spaces because “in the outlet world, piecemeal announcements are a sign of weakness,” according to PREIT CEO Joseph Coradino.

All well and good. But there’s a Coradino quote at the end of the article that made me think. Read more »

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