New York Times on Penn’s Problems With Suicide and Perfectionism

Terracotta Heraldry on the Duhring Wing.   | Steven Minicola, University of Pennsylvania  Communications.

Terracotta Heraldry on the Duhring Wing. | Steven Minicola, University of Pennsylvania Communications.

Today’s New York Times has an article on campus suicide that features the story of Kathryn DeWitt, a student at the University of Pennsylvania. Like her classmate Madison Holleran, DeWitt was a standout student and athlete in high school, but arrived at Penn to find that plenty of other students were just as remarkable as she was — and many were such high achievers, they made DeWitt feel inferior. In what seemed like countless ways, DeWitt imagined she didn’t measure up, as the TimesJulie Scelfo writes: Read more »

Former Narcotics Cops Sue Mayor Nutter, Commissioner Ramsey and D.A. Williams

ramsey nutter williams

A group of Philadelphia Police officers accused — and acquitted — of shaking down drug dealers is now suing Mayor Nutter, Commissioner Charles Ramsey and D.A. Seth Williams for defamation.

Perry Betts, Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, John Speiser and Michael Spicer were all exonerated of federal corruption charges earlier this year. (A sixth exonerated defendant in the case, Linwood Norman, is not party to the suit.) They’re joined by their former supervisor, Robert G. Otto.  The suit was reported Monday afternoon by BigTrial.net.

The lawsuit had originally been filed in a state court, then transferred to federal jurisdiction. An amended complaint (see below) was filed late last week. The suit stems from a 2012 letter from Williams to Ramsey, saying he wouldn’t accept drug cases — or warrants for affidavits — that required the testimony of those officers.

“There was no legitimate or reasonable or colorable basis whatsoever for D.A. Williams’ letter; to the contrary, the letter was written in bad faith and recklessly,” attorney Christopher Mannix wrote for the officers. Read more »

Worst Idea Ever: They Want to Fill Devil’s Pool with Rocks

Photo by Kara Milstein

Photo by Kara Milstein

On Sunday, I read with great interest Claire Sasko‘s feature on Devil’s Pool, the legendary swimming hole along Wissahickon Creek. I’ve been known to jump off of 80-foot cliffs in the Bahamas, but somehow, in my 41 years in the Philadelphia area, I’ve never made it to Devil’s Pool. Well, it sounds like I’d better hurry if I want to take the plunge. Read more »

Hipster Café Really Sorry for Letting Butt-Naked Guy Walk Around Store for an Hour

Photo by Sarah Grey

Cropped image by Sarah Grey

A butt-naked man passed out fliers and walked around Rocket Cat Café for about an hour Friday as part of a promotion for the Philly Naked Bike Ride.

The event took place bright and early at roughly 10 a.m., and customers were not given any warning before it happened. Even café staffers were taken by surprise by the man’s visit due to an apparent miscommunication.

Reached on the phone Monday morning, café owner Karen Breese said she is deeply remorseful.

“I take full responsibility,” she said. “I did not do my due diligence in making sure this was handled properly.”

Slightly NSFW photos after the jump »

New York’s Stunning Cosby Cover

Cosby Cover

The cover of New York magazine this week features pictures of 35 women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Excerpts from interviews with the three dozen women are inside the magazine.

“There are now 46 women who have come forward publicly to accuse Cosby of rape or sexual assault; the 35 women here are the accusers who were willing to be photographed and interviewed by New York,” the magazine says in an accompanying essay. “The group, at present, ranges in age from early 20s to 80 and includes supermodels Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson alongside waitresses and Playboy bunnies and journalists and a host of women who formerly worked in show business. Many of the women say they know of others still out there who’ve chosen to remain silent.” Read more »

Bucks County Township Declares “State of Emergency” for Pope’s Visit

The pope’s appearance in Philadelphia iis expected to have a major impact on Middletown’s Woodbourne SEPTA train station. | Google Maps

The pope’s appearance in Philadelphia is expected to have a major impact on Middletown’s Woodbourne SEPTA train station. | Google Maps

A Bucks County township has declared a “state of emergency” for the pope’s September visit to Philadelphia, saying the designation will help officials seek federal disaster money to recoup costs associated with the visit.

The declaration came at the recommendation of Middletown Township Police Chief Joseph Bartorilla. “He said one advantage of declaring a state of emergency is that it makes it more likely the township will be eligible for reimbursement from the federal government for police overtime and other expenses incurred resulting from” the pope’s visit, the Bucks County Courier Times reports. Read more »

Cole Hamels Throws a No-Hitter: Social Media Reaction

Cole Hamels waves to fans during batting practice before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park on July 22nd.

Cole Hamels waves to fans during batting practice before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park on July 22nd.

If that was the last time Cole Hamels pitched for the Phillies, it was a hell of a way to go out.

The longtime Phillies pitcher — the 2008 World Series MVP — has been on the trade block all season long. On Saturday afternoon, he pitched a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs, winning the game 5-0. It was the 13th no-hitter in team history.

Oh, and he hit a double to help his own cause.

Phillies fans — who have suffered mightily this awful season — celebrated on social media. (And they speculated about the future, too.) Read more »

Rittenhouse Chef Alex Capasso Arrested for Child Pornography

alex-capasso-arrested-child-porn

Alex Capasso | Photo via an archived version of the Crow & the Pitcher website.

Alex Capasso has long been a part of the Philadelphia-area restaurant scene. He worked at Georges Perrier’s Brasserie Perrier before opening the acclaimed Blackbird Dining Establishment in Collingswood and, most recently, Crow & the Pitcher in Rittenhouse Square. But now Capasso is in jail facing child pornography allegations, as first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Read more »

SEPTA Reports Record for Regional Rail Ridership

Septa regional rail train

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

SEPTA this year has taken the express train to record Regional Rail ridership.

In the recently ended July 2014-June 2015 fiscal year, SEPTA regional trains saw 37.4 million annual trips, a more than two percent increase over 2014’s data, SEPTA said in a press release today. In the 2014 fiscal year, 36.7 million annual trips were recorded on Regional Rail, per a SEPTA Ridership and Revenue report.

With record Regional Rail ridership also reported in 2013, SEPTA has seen that division grow steadily over the past several years. Today’s report mentioned that for the 16th consecutive year, SEPTA has also operated with a balanced budget. Read more »

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