Police Union Challenges Federal Reforms

A Philadelphia Police Department promotion ceremony. | Copyright City of Philadelphia. Photo by Mitchell Leff.

A Philadelphia Police Department promotion ceremony. | Copyright City of Philadelphia. Photo by Mitchell Leff.

The union that represents Philadelphia Police has filed unfair labor practice charges against the city for implementing reforms recommended by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The complaint by the Fraternal Order of Police was posted without comment this morning to the Police Advisory Commission’s Facebook page. (See the document below.) Read more »

Brewers Bullpen Catcher Eats 18 Cheesesteaks in 3 Days

When opponents come to play the Philadelphia Phillies, they eat cheesesteaks.

It’s a pretty good deal: Teams that come to play the Phillies get as many cheesesteaks as they want, free of charge. And they take advantage of the deal. Opponents eat so many cheesesteaks there are records for cheesesteak consumption at Citizens Bank Park posted on the wall of the visiting clubhouse.

In April of last year, the Mets shattered the team record when they ate 103 steaks in one day at the ballpark (10 hours). The previous record was in the 80s. A delightful story about the feat by Mike Vorkunov at NJ.com notes bullpen catcher Eric Langill set the three-day record (17) the previous season. Fellow bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello set the single-day record with 7 1/2 — only to see White Sox bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen top his record later in the year.

This weekend, another historic cheesesteak record fell: Langill’s record was topped by bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel. Read more »

Biking Is On the Rise Again in Philly

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Yo, bikers: Our legions are yet again increasing, according to a newly released study by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

Last fall, the coalition counted the number of cyclists on 18 intersections and bridges throughout the city during the morning and evening rush hours. The group counted 168 bikes per hour in 2014, compared to 160 a year prior. Read more »

The 12 Worst Pieces of Public Art in Philly

Philadelphia is a city awash in public artworks. Some of them are magnificent. Some of them are dreadful. The thing about public art that’s dreadful is that you can’t just go at it with a sledgehammer, even if you have to walk past the dad-blasted thing twice a day every day. All you can do with bad public art is shine a bright light on it, wonder what the hell the powers-that-be were thinking, marvel at the artistic conventions of earlier eras, and hold it up to shame and ridicule, which is what we’re doing here. Forthwith, in ascending order of awfulness, we present the 12 worst pieces of public art in Philadelphia.

The Wrestlers, artist unknown (1885)

Tony Fischer under Creative Commons 1.0 license, resized.

The Wrestlers. Tony Fischer under Creative Commons 2.0 license, resized.

The Horticultural Center, Fairmount Park

This Victorian-era copy of a Roman copy of a long-lost Greek original sculpture, variously attributed to various “artists,” features two buck-nakey dudes grappling away in a sweaty frenzy that makes MMA look lame. (It’s Dan McQuade’s favorite public art.) What propels it onto this list is that neither of the heads is original to the Roman copy, which was dug up in a vineyard in the 1500s and caused a Renaissance sensation. The bottom head comes from a different statue altogether, and the top head was modeled after it. So, Frankenstein. Read more »

Sixers Land 3 Players, Draft Pick in Trade With Kings

The Philadelphia 76ers acquired three players, as well as a future first-round pick and other draft considerations, in a trade with the Sacramento Kings last night. The trade can not be made official until July 9th. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the deal.

The Sixers sent a second-round pick and two European players drafted late in the second round of last month’s draft to the Kings, Arturas Gudaitis (47th pick) and Luka Mitrovic (60th pick). In return, the 76ers got a first-round pick in 2018, Nik Stauskas (the 8th overall pick in 2014) and veteran big men Cary Landry and Jason Thompson. The Sixers also got the right to swap first-rounders with the Kings in 2016 and 2017.

This is quite a haul for the Sixers for two players who were just picked late in the second round last month. The Sixers were rumored to have liked Stauskas back in the 2014 draft, but he was taken before the Sixers made their second first-round pick. (They previously took Joel Embiid third overall that year.) The Kings were willing to part with Stauskas (and draft considerations) in order to cut the salaries of Landry ($6.5 million) and Thompson ($6.4 million).

Stauskas was a high pick last year, but struggled to get on the court on a bad Kings team (just 15 minutes a game) and scored only 4.4 points a game — low numbers, especially for a guy expected to be a shooter. Still, he might instantly be the best shooter the Sixers have. (The previous best shooter was, um, Robert Covington.) Read more »

Obama to Address NAACP in Philadelphia

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

The NAACP announced Wednesday President Barack Obama will address the group’s annual conference, which is being held in Philadelphia later this month.

“We are honored to welcome President Obama back to our NAACP national convention,” NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock said in a release. “Our members are looking forward to President Obama delivering a powerful message that reinforces our commitment to being champions for civil and human rights in the 21st century.”

Obama has addressed the NAACP once before, in 2009 in New York. Read more »

Trump: Univision Dropping Pageant Is Pro-Hillary Plot

Developer Donald Trump displays a copy of his net worth during his announcement that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Developer Donald Trump displays a copy of his net worth during his announcement that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been going pretty much as you’d expect so far. At the speech introducing his run for president, he said Mexico was “sending people that have lots of problems… They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

That last sentence — well, some maybe are good people — didn’t do much to assuage Trump’s critics. Macy’s will stop selling his ties. NBC dumped his Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants, which were a joint production of the station and Trump’s Miss Universe company.

Univision — a competitor to NBC’s Telemundo — said it was dropping the Spanish-language broadcasts of Trump’s two pageants.

Today, Trump and the Miss Universe Organization filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision, alleging breach of contract and defamation. Read more »

GOP Budget Falls Short of Philly Schools Request

School District of Philadelphia

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed the GOP-led legislature’s state budget Tuesday night, in part, he said, because it would set aside far less education funding than he believes is fair.

How much less?

Earlier this year, the Philadelphia School District asked state lawmakers for an extra $206 million. The Republican bill would have provided only an additional $21.8 million to the school district, according to data from Senate GOP spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher. That’s about 11 percent of the surplus funding that district officials said they need. Read more »

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