The Daily Pennsylvanian brings us news of TheRedCup, the most secure party app ever designed by human brains. Thank God the parents of these fine students got them into exclusive preschools and SAT prep classes; they’ve used those advantages carefully, clearly.
TheRedCup, a mobile app that lists all parties on campus in one place, aims to fill the gap between those who want to party and those who throw the parties. Since it was launched Aug. 20, it’s gotten 3,000 downloads and 2,000 users.
To login to TheRedCup to check or post events, users must have an undergraduate email address as well as a valid Facebook account.
“[The police] definitely cannot access it. It requires an undergraduate student email, not any Penn email address,” Engineering sophomore and co-founder Utkarsh Shah, said. “If an administrative staff wants to log into it, he or she wouldn’t be able to.”
Hey remember the time Penn students got huffy about PhillyMag jokes about Penn drinking? Glub-glub, guys!
Dan Aykroyd, below with members of local Ghostbusters fan club, was at the new Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection store at 2040 Market Street this afternoon to promote his Crystal Skull brand of diamond-filtered vodka. On a day when people lined up outside the Apple store for the new iPhone 5s, the crowds may have been larger to see the former Ghostbuster.
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This maybe isn’t a good time to be an alcohol-loving college student in Philadelphia. First, let’s see what’s going on at Penn:
The 2013 Annual Security & Fire Safety Report sent as an all-school email Tuesday morning showed a dramatically increased number of disciplinary referrals for liquor violations since 2009. The recent increase hit almost 50 percent.
Liquor Control Enforcement officers aren’t the only ones to look out for on Saturday nights. Disciplinary referrals for liquor law violations (that is, Penn investigating and possibly punishing independently of the police) went up — way up. In 2009, there were 166. By 2012, the number jumped up to 245, a nearly 50 percent increase. In better news, arrests for liquor law violations on campus haven’t shot up in the same way: in 2010 no one was arrested, in 2011, six were and in 2012 only two.
Enforcement is also increasing at Temple:
In the four weekends since school began, 270 students have met sobering ends after becoming the latest recipients of alcohol-related citations due to a new push by the university to subdue party-related chaos.
During the first three weeks last year, only six were cited for alcohol.
“We never had a lot of activity the first two weekends of school,” Charlie Leone, acting executive director of Campus Safety Services, said.
A lot of the busts at Temple are non-students partying on campus, it turns out:
He added that almost half of alcohol-related arrests have been on non-Temple students.
“We used to be somewhere around 20–25 percent [of non-Temple students cited for alcohol], then we got up to 30 percent, and now this year about 50 percent,” he said. “So, half of the people that were cited, that were stopped, that were involved in alcohol issues and things of that nature had nothing to do with the university.”
Walk down Chestnut Street in University City and you lose count of the churches. There seem to be two on every block. There’s even one called the Church of God, at 41st. “A gospel-spreading church.” Keep going and you hit the old church where the steeple collapsed about a decade ago. Across the street is a strip mall. The neon beckons.
FINE WINE AND GOOD SPIRITS.
Yesterday, a fancy new state store (aka, Fine Wine and Good Spirits) store opened at 43rd and Chestnut, in the strip mall location previously occupied by Risque Video. It had been a while: The old state store at 41st and Market closed in January 2012. It was small and dingy. The LCB attempted to open a new location at 43rd and Walnut, but community concerns—general NIMBY anti-drug protests, plus there’s a mosque across the street—derailed the idea. The zoning board rejected the 43rd and Chestnut location in 2012 before reversing itself.
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To answer a question posed by Sandy Hingston in May of last year: 43rd and Chestnut.
Since the state store at 41st and Market closed last Summer, U Penn students have been without a go-to location for convenient hooch purchases. With that store gone, the closest options have been 49th and Baltimore, 24th and South, or 20th and Market, which are, like, really far away.
Starting tomorrow, though, students can head down to 43rd and Chestnut, a little less than a mile from the heart of Penn’s campus, for all their ethanol needs.
The PLCB actually hoped to open the new store, housed inside an old Risqué Video, in November or December of last year, but to no avail. A number of troubles, including a lease agreement that was not signed until this past April, and snags in stocking the store itself.
So, Penn students, rejoice: Drinking is about to be easy again. [Daily Pennsylvanian]
Temple University is canceling its annual “Spring Fling” in the aftermath of a death during the 2013 event. NBC 10 reports:
Last April, 19-year-old Ali Fausnaught fell three stories from the roof of a North Philadelphia row house on the 1900 block of North 18th Street during a Spring Fling party.
School administrators say their decision to cancel Spring Fling wasn’t because of Fausnaught’s death though they described the incident as “devastating.”
The Temple News reports:
After the most recent Spring Fling, President Neil Theobald commissioned Provost Hai-Lung Dai and two vice presidents – James Creedon and Theresa Powell – to look into the future of spring activities, but Theobald said that it’s been clear for months that the event would not carry out as usual.
“It’s kind of been hijacked by a group of people that make this into a bacchanal, a drinking fest,” Theobald said. “We’re not involved in that.”
“This used to be an event that seemed to have a real benefit to the college community because it was the only opportunity that all of these commuter students came together,” Dean of Students Stephanie Ives said. “This particular event has really transformed into something where students perceive it as an excuse to drink and a drinking holiday.”
And Philly.com adds:
“A dangerous culture of high-risk drinking has infiltrated the event, undermining our academic mission and our duty to safeguard student health and wellness,” said added Dean of Students Stephanie Ives in yesterday’s email.
“By and large, the consensus was that it is time for us to re-think how best to unite and engage students,” Ives stated in the email. “A university-wide event such as Spring Fling can no longer be reasonably and responsibly sponsored by the university when it has been overshadowed by dangerous behaviors.”
Center City dwellers and workers now have a fancy-pants new place to buy their high-end hooch with the opening of the 7,700-square-foot Fine Wine & Good Spirits — Premium Collection store at 21st and Market. This store replaces the store at 19th and Chestnut.
At the ribbon-cutting, reports CBS3, State Rep. Brian Sims, in whose district the new store sits, weighed in on the state’s ongoing monopoly of the booze biz:
“The work that gets done here literally helps our schools, helps our seniors, and helps this state’s bottom line. … So thank you all very very much for being here. I expect all of you to drink responsibly, but I expect all of you to buy your booze in center city!”
Which is to say, drink up — for the children. Cuz this school budget thing isn’t going to solve itself.
New Jersey’s artisan distillers, rejoice! Gov. Chris Christie today signed into law a bill granting tours, tastings and sales at the state’s (very few) liquor distilleries. The bill also creates a Craft Distillers License for shiners producing less than 20,000 gallons of the good stuff per year, and updates several other liquor-related laws not altered since the death of Prohibition.
Jersey, however, is home to just one small distiller, Jersey Artisan Distilling, with a second, Cooper River Distillers, opening shop soon. Neither, unfortunately, will offer tours this year—they’re still working off their old license. [Foobooz]
Dog Mountain is a Philly comedy group that performs at Philly Improv Theater. Here’s their latest video effort, “Joe Moore Reviews a Case of Beer.”
Beer Review from Dog Mountain on Vimeo.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board said Monday it enjoyed record profits in the last fiscal year, a time when special interests were spending millions to advance or derail efforts to privatize liquor and wines sales after 80 years of state control.
Robust sales and cost controls generated net income of $128.4 million in the year that ended June 30 — an increase of $24.9 million, or 24 percent, over the previous year, the board said.
Revenue from the more than 600 state stores — the board is gradually “rebranding” them as Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores — reached nearly $2.2 billion for the year, a 4.5 increase that the board said is also a record. Retail wine sales showed the strongest growth, a 6 percent increase, thanks in part to the Chairman’s Selection program.
Those numbers might amount to an argument against privatizing the liquor stores. After all, AP points out, those revenues went back into the state treasury, where “$24 million went to state police for enforcement of state liquor laws and $8 million was paid in local taxes to Philadelphia and Allegheny counties.” Take away those revenue streams, and folks might find themselves paying higher taxes. Let the drinkers pick up the tab for the rest of us, right?