We Want Answers: Yolanda Wisher

Photograph by Claudia Gavin

Photograph by Claudia Gavin

Congratulations on being named Philadelphia’s third poet laureate. What does the gig entail? It involves being an ambassador for poetry — an ambassador and advocate for poetry in Philly. Concretely, that involves doing some readings at City Hall, at the Free Library, visiting schools and doing readings in neighborhoods. Really, just spreading the gospel of poetry around Philadelphia. Read more »

Jay Wright: “I Love My Job Here”

Villanova Wildcats head coach Jay Wright celebrates after beating the Kansas Jayhawks in the south regional final of the NCAA Tournament.

Villanova Wildcats head coach Jay Wright celebrates after beating the Kansas Jayhawks in the south regional final of the NCAA Tournament.

Now that he’s won an NCAA championship with Villanova, the NBA is surely going to come calling on Jay Wright. But Wright sounds — mostly — like he’s happy sticking to his current post.

“I love my job here, I really do,” he told Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP this morning.

Cataldi asked Wright if he would even listen to an NBA offer. Read more »

Comcast’s New Harry Potter Attraction Could Rival Disney

harry potter

We’ve long known that Comcast is becoming a leader in the theme park industry, thanks to its ownership of the Universal Studios theme parks. But how big can the business become for the Philadelphia-based cable giant?

We’re about to find out.

Universal Studios Hollywood on Thursday opened its latest attraction, “Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” and observers are saying it presents a real challenge to nearby Disneyland. Read more »

Reports: New Fire Commissioner Chosen

Adam Thiel | Virginia.gov

Adam Thiel | Virginia.gov

Adam Thiel, Virginia’s deputy secretary of public safety and homeland security, has been chosen as Philadelphia’s next fire commissioner, according to reports at multiple outlets.

Mayor Jim Kenney declined to confirm the appointment in a conversation with 6ABC on Thursday.

“We’re not going to announce it ’til next week. I mean I want everybody to get it at the same time,” he told the station. “We had planned on doing it next week, and that’s when it’s going to happen.” Read more »

Gun Group Calls on DNC to Give Up Armed Security

WELLS-FARGO-CENTER-JEFF-FUSCO-940X540

Most DNC events will occur at the Wells Fargo Center.

A pro-gun group is calling on Democrats to give up armed security — such as police and Secret Service — at this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

“If a political party believes that guns do not make us safer they should set an example by rejecting any and all forms of armed security at their national convention,” Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said in a press release. “A party that does not believe in the right of individual citizens to keep and bear arms should not benefit from the safety provided by others who bear arms.”

Democrats aren’t the only party to face a challenge from gun advocates. Activists have called on Republicans to allow delegates to carry guns into the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer; the Secret Service said last week it would not allow that to happen.

A spokesman for that agency told The Hill “only authorized law enforcement personnel” would be allowed to carry firearms at the GOP event. Read more »

Aramark Says It’s Staying in Philly

Aramark Headquarters

Aramark is keeping is headquarters in Philadelphia, the company announced this morning. It might not, however, stay in the same Center City skyscraper currently topped with a sign bearing its name.

“The company’s global headquarters will remain in Philadelphia with the selection of an office site pending,” the company said in a press release.

Reports emerged last month that Aramark was considering a move. The news was alarming to local leaders: Aramark is one of just three Fortune 500 companiesComcast and Crown Holdings are the others — that make its home inside the city limits (though the metropolitan area contains a few more). Read more »

WATCH: Tina Fey and Tituss Burgess Sing a Duet

This is fun:

Vulture says: “Tituss Burgess and Tina Fey wisely went with “You’re Nothing Without Me” for their duet at the annual MCC Theater Miscast Gala. It was obvious Tituss could sing (see also: the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt one-man production of The Lion King), but Tina Fey? Come on! The number, from the 1989 musical City of Angels, is a duet between a writer and said writer’s fictional creation.” Makes sense, since Burgess stars on the show Fey writes. But how about her performance? Thank goodness for Upper Darby Summer Stage.

Mayor Kenney Ducks Cataldi Question About The Roots and July 4th

questo-kenney

Philly’s July 4th celebration will feature an homage to the “Philadelphia Sound” of legendary producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Mayor Jim Kenney said in a radio interview today. But he ducked questions about whether the Roots — who have headlined and curated the celebration recent years — will have any involvement.

“Sometimes groups do things, entertainers do things every year and sometimes they want a break” Kenney said, speaking on Angelo Cataldi’s morning show on 94 WIP. “We have to talk to them and see what they want to do. They have families, they have a holiday too, maybe they want to celebrate the holiday with their family. So we’re working it through.”

The Roots haven’t publicly stated their preference for involvement in this year’s festival, which takes place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. When it became public they might not have a role this year, drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson tweeted Billy Penn’s story on the matter, along with a cryptic comment: “#goodluckwiththat.” Read more »

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