Another Guilty Plea in Main Line Drug Ring

main-line-drug-bust-mugshot-timothy-brooks-400x400Timothy Brooks, who prosecutors have charged as second in command in the Main Line drug ring, pleaded guilty Tuesday to five of the 13 counts against him. The other counts are expected to be dropped at sentencing.

Brooks, 19, say prosecutors, was one of the two ringleaders of the drug ring that sold marijuana and other drugs to students at Main Line high schools and colleges. Prosecutors say Neil K. Scott was more culpable in the scheme, but Brooks is the one who coined the phrase “Main Line takeover project.”

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Could Comcast Investment Solve Customer Service Issues?

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You know Comcast has been in trouble lately over customer service issues? Comcast Ventures, the (natch) venture capital arm of the company, just made a big investment that might help resolve those issues.

Portland Business Journal reports that Comcast Ventures was the big investor in Lytics, a software company that just raised $7 million in funding. Andrew Cleland, a partner at Comcast Ventures, will join the Lytics board.

And what does Lytics do?

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WATCH: Mo’ne Davis Commercial Directed by Spike Lee

Tuesday night during Game 1 of the World Series, Chevrolet debuted a commercial featuring Philadelphia’s Mo’ne Davis, star of the Little League World Series and all-around general cool person who seems to be handling this burst of fame incredibly well. It’s heavy on Philly, including shots of Anderson Yards, Lazaros Pizza (I go there sometimes!) and the skyline. Oh, yeah, and it’s directed by Spike Lee.

I guess when Spike Lee was here to film a documentary on Davis, what he really meant was a commercial. It’s a shame this isn’t a spot for Nike; then we could’ve had a spot with Mo’ne Davis and Mars Blackmon.

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Daryl Metcalfe’s Bad Religion

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Let’s give this to Daryl Metcalfe: If you wanted to create a religious-right bogeyman that almost perfectly fit the fevered nightmares of liberals, he’d pretty closely fit the bill.

Metcalfe is the Pennsylvania Republican probably best known for silencing openly gay Rep. Brian Sims on the House floor last year because Sims’ comments in favor of gay marriage would’ve been “against God’s law.”

“I’m a Christian,” Metcalfe said at the time. “Based on the command of Jesus Christ, of Almighty God, I love my fellow man. I work to protect their liberties.”

Unless, of course, his fellow man is an immigrant. Or somebody trying to help an immigrant. Or, worse yet, someone trying to help an immigrant child. Then Metcalfe’s love somehow disappears.

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SEPTA’s Biggest Union Could Strike On Monday

Photo | Ben Schumin.

Photo | Ben Schumin.

TWU Local 234, the largest of the transit unions representing SEPTA employees, has announced a strike authorization meeting for Sunday, October 26th at 3:00 p.m., meaning that the thousands of subway operators, bus drivers, mechanics and cashiers who are part of the union might not show up for work on Monday morning. Read more »

Tom Corbett Signs Anti-Mumia “Revictimizing” Bill

At the site where Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner was shot and killed in 1981, Gov. Tom Corbett today signed a bill today that would let crime victims sue convicts for seeking publicity or money. The bill is a direct response to Mumia Abu-Jamal, giving a graduation speech at Goddard College earlier this month.

Even people with only a cursory understanding of the legal system can guess this bill is on incredibly shaky footing — two lawyer friends of mine called it “laughably unconstitutional” — and will end up in the courts sooner rather than later. Last week Joel Mathis called the bill’s language “so broad as to be meaningless” and “a violation of the First Amendment.” Andy Hoover, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, agreed.

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Another Violent Incident at Northeast Philly Pathmark

Earlier this month, a man was stabbed in a Northeast Philly Pathmark after an argument with another man. Now, the supermarket has been the site of a second attack.

Police say a woman ran into the Pathmark screaming after she was assaulted by a 19-year-old man on Monday. The man followed her into the store, where he was cornered by shoppers until police arrived.

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SRC’s Contract Move Isn’t About Shared Sacrifice — It’s Looting

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From left: Bill Green (Jeff Meade, via Wikimedia Commons) | School District headquarters (Jeff Fusco) | Helen Gym (Alex Hogan, Flickr)

Recently, I visited my brother-in-law at Radnor High School and was privileged to see him teach his ninth-grade English/civics class. When I walked in, his students were engaged in a debate about Plato and the notion of dissent versus rule of law in Athenian society. The students had finished reading John Stuart Mill and were getting their first papers back for revision. It was October 2nd.

A few days later, I attended a parent meeting at Central High School, one of the city’s premier institutions. Dozens of ninth graders had spent their school year with substitute teachers who changed every week. The substitutes were put in place to relieve teachers leading classrooms with 40, 50, or even more students. For these ninth graders, school didn’t really start until October 8th, when permanent teachers were finally assigned to them.

This is what a teacher’s contract was supposed to prevent.

And it’s why the School Reform Commission’s move last week to tear up that contract is about far more than the dishonest suggestion of “shared sacrifice” and health care contributions.

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