The Eternal Lure of Devil’s Pool

IN THE WOODS OF Valley Green, just minutes off Livezey Lane in Northwest Philadelphia, the small, bubbling Cresheim Creek cascades into a basin that swells between mossy, fern-covered cliffs before emptying into the Wissahickon Creek. Twentysomethings clad in swim trunks, neon bikinis and muscle tanks linger on the boulders, congregating in groups.

Welcome to Philly’s notorious Devil’s Pool. Read more »

The Best Philadelphians 2015

Clockwise from upper left: Mayor Michael Nutter, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, Adam Granduciel of the band War on Drugs, Nerlens Noel, Todd Carmichael, Courtney and Chad Ludeman. Illustrations by Brett Affrunti

Clockwise from upper left: Mayor Michael Nutter, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, Adam Granduciel of the band War on Drugs, Nerlens Noel, Todd Carmichael, Courtney and Chad Ludeman. Illustrations by Brett Affrunti

This group of Best Philadelphians should have so many more people on it — several million more — because every Philadelphian is a Best Philadelphian. Every single one of us should get a gold star, dammit, especially when it’s snowing outside and the buses aren’t running and the ramp to 95 is closed. But all yearbooks must have superlatives, so we do want to highlight some people who have made this a banner year — starting with the guy who kind of runs things in this town. Read more »

One of Us: Seth Williams, Philadelphia District Attorney

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Rufus Seth Broussard Williams. It’s a mouthful.

I go by “Seth” because … my parents always called me that. And “Rufus Doofus” is a tough one on the playground.

I grew up in … Cobbs Creek, West Philadelphia.

My relationship status is … divorced.

I started working … at age 11, packing bags at the A&P on Baltimore Avenue right outside Philadelphia.

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer when … medical school proved to be impossible. I got a medical discharge from West Point, because I was allergic to math and science. Read more »

In Philly Deposition, Cosby Describes Seducing Women With Drugs and Fame

cosby video

In a deposition taken at Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Hotel a decade ago, Bill Cosby acknowledged pursuing young women for sex in a manipulative and calculating way, at times using drugs, money and his own fame as a way of seducing them.

According to the New York Times, which obtained a copy of Cosby’s deposition in a case brought by Andrea Constand, a young Temple employee who claimed Cosby drugged and sexually molested her in the early 2000s, the entertainer came across in his four days of testimony as “alternately annoyed, mocking, occasionally charming and sometimes boastful, often blithely describing sexual encounters in graphic detail.” Read more »

Doylestown Lawyer Accused of Insider Trading

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

A Doylestown lawyer is in big trouble with the feds, charged with insider trading and making false statements under oath.

Herbert Sudfeld, a 64-year-old man from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, was indicted Thursday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He faces two counts of securities fraud, three counts of making a false statement, and one count of “aiding and abetting.” Read more »

WATCH: Documentary Examines Lives of Unemployed AC Casino Workers

2014 was a brutal year in Atlantic City : 8,000  jobs were lost in 2014 after the closure of four of the city’s 12 struggling casinos.

Now the  Media Mobilizing Project has released a documentary , Building a Sandcastle: A Broken Promise to Atlantic City, that tracks the lives of unemployed casino workers from the many high-profile closures that occurred in 2014.

“The casinos industry in this area, and our union, is like the lifeblood of the communities around here,” said Alfred Kare sadly, a server at the Trump Taj Mahal. Read more »

Katie McGinty Approached on Senate Run

Businesswoman and former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty has run a solid campaign, building a network and achieving fundraising success. But most important, she, unlike opponents Allyson Schwartz and Rob McCord, stayed away from attacking Wolf. Given that, combined with Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s implosion and much of the Democratic establishment disliking former congressman Joe Sestak, watch for the articulate McGinty to quickly become the frontrunner against freshman Pat Toomey in 2016.

Katie McGinty, who ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination last year, has been approached by party leaders about running for Pat Toomey’s Senate seat.

It’s starting to look like the Democratic establishment really doesn’t want Joe Sestak challenging Pat Toomey for the U.S. Senate in 2016. Sestak hasn’t always helped himself as a candidate, and each week brings fresh rumors of efforts by party leaders to recruit a primary opponent for Sestak.

The latest? Katie McGinty.

McGinty ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination last year, losing to eventual winner Tom Wolf, but ending up as his chief of staff.

“Former governor, Ed Rendell, says national Democrats have contacted Governor Tom Wolf’s top aide about running for U.S. Senate,” WITF reports. “However, Rendell says he doesn’t think Katie McGinty will run and that she’s committed to working through a budget standoff with state lawmakers as Wolf’s chief of staff. ” Read more »

Carli Lloyd Scores Hat Trick in U.S. Win

United States' Carli Lloyd celebrates after scoring her third goal against Japan during the first half of the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

United States’ Carli Lloyd celebrates after scoring her third goal against Japan during the first half of the FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Carli Lloyd dominated the biggest stage in women’s soccer.

The Delran native scored a hat trick in the first 16 minutes of Sunday’s championship game against Japan, leading the United States Women’s National Team to its first FIFA Women’s World Cup title since 1999, five tournaments ago.

This newest championship is also the third for the U.S. women’s team, the most World Cup victories in the history of the women’s tournament. Read more »

Sen. Casey Pushes for Families to Fly Cheaper

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey

The major U.S. airlines, more than ever, are dinging travelers — including whole families — for amenities like checked bags, seat changes and even on-board snacks.

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is pushing the Federal Aviation Administration to tell airlines to drop the fee for one of those a la carte conveniences: seat changes for families with small kids. TheHill, a legislative news website, reported Monday that Casey is pressing the FAA to require that airlines not charge parents unnecessary fees to select or change seats that allow them to sit with their children on board airplanes.

“I write today to express concern about the apparent lack of policies in place to ensure airlines are taking appropriate steps to guarantee that young children can sit with their parents during a flight without paying extra fees,” Casey wrote to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, according to Casey’s official government website. The official letter can be read in its entirety on the webpage.

“In recent years, consumers have grown increasingly frustrated by the growing use of varying fees associated with air travel,” Casey continued. “For a family that has already paid full fare to have to pay an additional fee so that parents and children can sit together is financially burdensome and stressful to families,” Casey added.

Consumerist reported that some airlines already make an effort to accommodate families on board their aircraft. Southwest, known for its free-for-all seating procedures, announced in early June that it is taking steps to make its boarding process more efficient and to hopefully allow families to find seats together, even on crowded flights.

Southwest, a major carrier at Philadelphia International Airport, already allows families with children four and under to board together after its priority group, but it is now increasing that age limit to six-, eight-, and even 11-year-olds on some flights. Families can already pay extra to board together if they so choose.

“Families should be able to travel on commercial flights without having to pay unnecessary fees,” Senator Casey said. “Flying can be very challenging for families with young children. It’s important that industry and the FAA take steps to end these fees. For a family that has already paid full fare to have to pay an additional fee so that parents and children can sit together is financially burdensome and stressful to families.”

 

Newspaper Guild Releases Details of Agreement

With the future of Philly’s two major daily newspapers at stake and the clock ticking down toward a likely work stoppage, both sides on Friday gave a little something to get something.

Philadelphia Media Network — which owns the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com — decided that it would pay the increased health insurance costs of its employees. The Newspaper Guild — which represents journalists, advertising staff and other support workers at the papers — decided it would give a little bit on seniority, allowing the company some bit flexibility in deciding which staff it wants to keep in the event of future layoffs. (The details of the deal were released in a memo to guild employees this morning; see the full document below.)

The result? After eight months spent at impasse mostly over those issues — and barely 24 hours before their contract was due to expire — the two sides struck a deal, with the resulting handshake (seen above) between Stan Wischnowski, the company’s vice president for news operations, and Howard Gensler, the guild’s president.

Read more »

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