Ori vs. Kenyatta: Gloves Off

MO-metro-ori-kenyatta-illo-400x443Though Philadelphia’s primary election is many months away (May 19th — mark your calendars!), the battle between incumbent one-term City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and his challenger, controversial Point Breeze real estate developer Ori Feibush, is already about to reach a boiling point.

Just before the Fourth of July holiday, with City Council members about to go on their annual three-month must-be-nice what-is-this-Denmark? summer break, Feibush filed a federal lawsuit against Johnson, alleging that the Councilman blocked him from purchasing two blighted city-owned properties and from bidding on a large parcel of land, as retribution for Feibush’s campaign for his seat.

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Politicians Keep Pandering to Penn State

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Oh, how I wish the politicians of Pennsylvania would stop kissing the ring of Penn State football.

The king — Joe Paterno — may be dead, but the kingdom is very much alive. A quick Google News search for “Penn State” turns up headline after headline about new coach James Franklin and speculation about the forthcoming 2014 football season. That might not be so unusual — it’s late July, practices are about to begin — except that the results of that page are similarly football-heavy all year round, whether the season’s around the corner or not.

Now, Google News merely reflects the output of journalists. But that journalistic output suggests that reporters covering the university know what their audience cares about. It’s not the famed library — except as proof of the saintliness of the former coach — and it’s not really even that Penn State is now ranked in the top 50 among the world’s top universities.

In Happy Valley, it turns out, they are always ready for some football.

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Is Corbett Gaining on Wolf?

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Do we suddenly, really have a gubernatorial race in Pennsylvania?

Under most circumstances, a poll showing that an incumbent governor is down by nine points to a challenger wouldn’t be considered good news. It’s different in Pennsylvania, where so many polls have shown for so long that Gov. Tom Corbett is losing his election campaign to Democrat Tom Wolf by 20 points. The gap has been shown over and over again, the closest thing to a sure thing one can find in today’s politics.

Until Tuesday night.

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Federal Officials Blame Conrail for Train Derailment

Image via NTSB

Image via NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board met today to release its report on a train derailment almost two years ago in New Jersey. The blame was placed squarely on Conrail. The NTSB says the train was allowed to attempt to cross the Paulsboro bridge despite a red light showing the rail slide locks were not engaged.

The train was allowed to proceed because Conrail was “relying on a training and qualification program that did not prepare the train crew to examine the bridge lock system,” according to the report. The NTSB also faulted the emergency response to the derailment, which caused a cloud of vinyl chloride to be released into the air. The report says state and local officials, along with Conrail, did not properly prepare first responders for the incident.

An earlier NTSB report said much of Paulsboro was sickened by the release of the dangerous petrochemical.

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You Can Now Exercise While Waiting for Your Flight at PHL

First, pop-up beer gardens. Now, pop-up gyms.

If your flight’s been delayed at Philadelphia International Airport, there’s more to do now than just browse Brookstone and Brooks Brothers. In a gym that’s been moving around the terminals this summer, there are now exercise bikes and elliptical machines! The pilot program is just for the summer, though an airport spokesman says there is an indication the bikes could become a permanent fixture.

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Ex-Sixers GM: ‘Girls in Philly Wanted to Kill Me’ When I Traded Kyle Korver

Photo | USA Today Sports, Mike DiNovo

Photo | USA Today Sports, Mike DiNovo

ESPN’s Grantland has an engaging profile of ex-Sixers guard Kyle Korver today, which speaks of the NBA sharpshooter as one of the NBA’s more underrated players. Korver played with Philadelphia from his rookie year in the 2003-04 season to Dec. 27, 2007, when he was traded to the Utah Jazz.

Here’s what’s fun: The article goes into how Korver ended up with the 76ers. The New Jersey Nets, fresh off an NBA Finals appearance, selected Korver with the 51st pick in the NBA Draft. Korver had spent four years as a sharpshooter at mid-major Creighton University. In order to pay for their summer league team, the Nets traded Korver to the Sixers for $125,000 of Comcast money. The Nets bought a new copy machine with the leftover money from the Korver trade.

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