Man in Eagles Jacket Rescues SEPTA Passenger from El Tracks

A man in an Eagles jacket jumped onto the subway tracks to rescue a man who had fallen on to the Market-Frankford El tracks at 15th Street on Wednesday, according to surveillance video released by SEPTA yesterday. And they say Eagles fans never do anything for the people!

After the man in the Eagles jacket jumped onto the tracks, other passengers then pulled up the passenger and the rescuer. They then attended to the man who was injured falling onto the tracks. (He appeared to be looking at his phone and was walking on the yellow “don’t walk here” platform border.) SEPTA police then arrived; the man who fell onto to the tracks did not suffer life-threatening injuries. All in all, it was an uplifting example of people’s ability to help out in a crisis. Go Philadelphia!

SEPTA, though, would prefer it if passengers didn’t jump onto the tracks to save people. Read more »

Flyers Fire Coach Craig Berube

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After a disappointing season where the team missed the playoffs — and was not that close to making them — the Flyers have fired coach Craig Berube. The team announced the dismissal in a short press release on its website.

Berube was hired three games into the 2013-14 season, when the Flyers fired Peter Laviolette. He had previously spent six years as a Flyers assistant. The Flyers rode a midseason surge under Berube to the playoffs that season, and lost in the first round in seven games to the Rangers. New York eventually won the Eastern Conference.

But this season didn’t go as well. By January, almost every beat writer was speculating Berube might be fired soon. The Flyers were inconsistent. They would play well against good teams and poorly against bad ones. They couldn’t win on the road. They couldn’t score. They couldn’t kill penalties. Really, it was more than inconsistency. Read more »

In Pa., Immunization Not “Noncontroversial”

Last week, Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Schlossberg introduced HR 229, a resolution that would recognize April 24th to 30th as World Immunization Week in the state. (See the resolution below.)

Resolutions of this type generally sail through the legislature. Earlier this year, there was a resolution essentially honoring God. As long as no lawmaker objects to these “noncontroversial resolutions,” they pass. They can even contradict each other. The same day Schlossberg’s resolution was introduced, two noncontroversial resolutions preceded it: HR 225 (Forest and Paper Products Day) and HR 226 (Arbor Day).

Last year, the World Immunization Week Bill was introduced as a noncontroversial resolution and passed. But this year, House leadership referred Schlossberg’s bill to the Health Committee. Read more »

3 Reasons A Municipal Bank Is A Bad Idea

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Mayoral candidate Anthony Williams has been floating an idea for a municipal bank. The proposed bank, which would be owned and run by the city would focus on helping small businesses in the city who are unable to get loans from mainstream banks.

I not only run a small business but I also write every day on small business topics for the Washington Post and every week for Forbes, Inc. and Entrepreneur magazines. My company has more than 600 small business clients and I speak to and interview thousands of small business owners around the country every year. If you’re familiar with the other things I write for Philly Mag you may agree that I don’t know much about a lot of things. But please allow that I’m more than a little familiar with the issues facing the country’s 30 million small businesses, let alone the tens of thousands in this city. So with that in mind I feel obligated to help Anthony Williams because he seems like a nice guy.

Mr. Williams…the municipal bank thing? Not a great idea. And here’s why. Read more »

Big Idea: Rename PHL for Ben Franklin

“No other town, burying its great man, ever buried more of itself than Philadelphia with Franklin.”

—Carl Van Doren, 1938

The United States has buried many a great leader throughout its storied history.  The funerals of Presidents Washington, Lincoln (150 years ago this month), Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan immediately come to mind.

Among American leaders who never occupied the presidency, the burial of the slain Martin Luther King Jr. 47 years ago, also this April, was another moment of immense national sadness.

And in Philadelphia, precisely 225 years ago on April 21st, the city’s most internationally renowned citizen, Dr. Benjamin Franklin, was laid to rest at Christ Church Cemetery in the presence of 20,000 mourners who had gathered at the State House (now Independence Hall) to pay final respects to their friend and neighbor — without whose unsurpassed contributions to the American Revolution the United States might have never been born. Read more »

Suit: Cops Broke Down Man’s Door, Beat Him While Looking for His Brother

A Philadelphia man has filed a federal lawsuit against the police department claiming that the Internal Affairs division routinely ignores allegations of wrongdoing by officers.

Luis Gelpi filed the suit this week. His complaint stems from a May 2013 incident in which he says a group of officers raided his home while looking for his brother, Juan. The family had endured and, according to the suit, cooperated during several days of inquiry from officers before the raid.

The officers came to his house on May 8th, Gelpi’s attorney, Brian Humble, writes in the complaint.

“On this occasion, Mr. Gelpi, demanded that the Police Officers named herein produce a warrant, or go away and stop harassing his family and disrupting his life. In response, one of the Defendant Officers ordered Mr. Gelpi to ‘open the fucking door,’” the complaint alleges. “Mr. Gelpi justifiably demanded that the individually named defendants produce a warrant. Rather than obtaining and/or showing a warrant, the Defendant Officers broke the front door and forcibly entered the Gelpi home.”

Gelpi, who according to the suit had his right arm in a full cast at the time, alleges he was thrown to the floor where one officer allegedly hit him in the head, face, and back and twisted his injured arm, while other officers searched his home. Eventually, the complaint alleges, one of the officers announced, “oh it’s not him.”

Read more »

Here’s What Went Down at Wawa’s Madhouse Birthday Party

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Mayor Michael Nutter and Wawa President/CEO Chris Gheysens pour the “first cup” of free coffee for Wawa Day. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

The Wawa at 17th and Arch often pulsates with activity. It’s the closest Wawa to many Philadelphia office buildings, including the Comcast Center across the street. But, on Thursday morning, this Wawa was even more mobbed than usual. Not only was Wawa offering free coffee — the chain’s first location opened on April 16th, 1964 — but Mayor Michael Nutter was making an appearance to officially declare today Wawa Day.

Wawa store No. 86 is the closest Wawa to the Philadelphia magazine offices, as well, so I stopped by to check out the dog-and-pony show. Read more »

Make a Shark Tank-style Pitch in an Uber on Friday

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Getting 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to pitch an idea to a venture capitalist has quite a bit of value. So does a free Uber ride. Put them together and you have UberPITCH.

If you request an Uber on Friday between noon and 4 p.m., your car might show up carrying the likes of Josh Kopelman (First Round Capital founder) or Philip Moyer (Safeguard Scientifics senior vice president). Read more »

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