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 »

Have You Noticed? Phillies Playing Better (But Still Very Bad)

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels and center fielder Odubel Herrera celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs 5-0 at Wrigley Field. Photo | Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels and center fielder Odubel Herrera celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs 5-0 at Wrigley Field. Photo | Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Seen through the eyes of a New York Mets fan (yep, I’m one of those), the Phillies owe the Mets some wins, wins they stole so brazenly at the end of the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

Now, stuck in last place in the National League East, the Phillies are doing their part to help the Mets’ postseason odds by defeating other teams in the hunt for October, namely the upstart Chicago Cubs. 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 »

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 »

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