SEPTA’s Biggest Union Could Strike On Monday

Photo | Ben Schumin.

Photo | Ben Schumin.

TWU Local 234, the largest of the transit unions representing SEPTA employees, has announced a strike authorization meeting for Sunday, October 26th at 3:00 p.m., meaning that the thousands of subway operators, bus drivers, mechanics and cashiers who are part of the union might not show up for work on Monday morning. Read more »

Federal Judge Rules Against Joey Merlino


Reputed Philadelphia mobster Joey Merlino has got to be sweating bullets right about now. The United States Attorney in Philadelphia wants to send “Skinny” Joey back behind bars, where he spent nearly a decade after being convicted on racketeering charges. And on Monday, Judge R. Barclay Surrick issued a ruling that puts Merlino perilously close to a return to federal prison. Read more »

I Went to a Nazi Concentration Camp on Saturday


Crematorium at Majdanek concentration camp.

I really didn’t want to visit Majdanek, a former Nazi concentration camp in Lublin, Poland. Like most people, I found Schindler’s List pretty difficult to watch; I couldn’t finish my tour of the Holocaust Memorial in Washington D.C. And so, when I wound up in Poland for a very short visit with my band this past weekend, I was thinking more about beer and pierogi — not about confronting the worst evil that mankind has to offer. Read more »

Pa. High School Soccer Coaches Resign After Team’s “Ebola” Taunts


Last week, the Konkrete Kids soccer team of Northampton, Pennsylvania, traveled to Andrew Leh Stadium in Nazareth for a match against the Nazareth Blue Eagles, whose star player is 16-year-old Ibraham Tounkara of Guinea, one of the West African areas affected by the Ebola outbreak. And less then one week later, the Northampton team’s coaches have resigned over “Ebola” taunts their players lobbed at Tounkara during that game. Read more »

[UPDATED] The Real Deal: A SEPTA Bus Driver Speaks Anonymously

real-deal-400x400In our new feature, The Real Deal, we’re talking to people in Philadelphia who will only speak to us with a clear agreement of anonymity. In our controversial first installment, we spoke with a Philly cop. This time around, we sat down for margaritas with a longtime SEPTA employee, who has driven both buses and trolleys, to see what it’s really like out there on the streets.

With 40 hours a week inside of buses and trolleys, you are uniquely positioned to offer some thoughts on Philadelphia as a society. How are we doing?

I love Philly. I’m from here. And it’s a big city that is really a collection of neighborhoods. You see people fighting on the El, playing the “knockout game” on the buses, but there’s also an amazing amount of good. We tend to get marginalized by New York and DC people. But we’re just as passionate and good.

Read more »

Catholic Pediatrician Says City Fired Her for Refusing to Prescribe Contraceptives


After moving to the United States from her native India, Doris Fernandes worked as a pediatrician at Philadelphia’s District Health Center at 4400 Haverford Avenue for 35 years. But now, the Roxborough resident claims that the city fired her in November 2013 because she refused to prescribe contraceptives like Depo-Provera and the morning-after pill to the young women in her care. Read more »

The Feds Want to Put Joey Merlino Back In Prison Immediately


Philadelphia’s skinniest mobster Joey Merlino has been living in Boca Raton, Florida since his March 2011 release from federal prison, where he spent a decade on racketeering and extortion charges. But now the long arm of the law has caught up with him, yanking him back to the Federal Courthouse at 6th and Market streets in Philadelphia for a hearing on Friday morning. And the end result could be his return to federal prison. Read more »

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