Is Philly Ready to Host the World?

KYW reports that with Pope Francis likely to visit and the 2016 Democratic National Convention a real possibility, members of the City Council want to check Philadelphia’s readiness to host such world-class events:

In light of all of this, Eighth District Council member Cindy Bass is scheduling a council hearing about Philadelphia’s readiness to host such global events.

“Let’s start talking about those things,” Bass says. “Let’s talk about how many more hotels do we have since the last convention, how many more beds do we have? How many will we need to host the Olympics, or the DNC, or the papal visit, or any of the other things that we’d like to see here in Philadelphia?”

No date has been set.

SEPTA Plans for Midnight Strike

UPDATE 1:55 pm: 6ABC says a strike unlikely tonight:

A union source told Action News’ David Henry that despite the skipped bargaining session Friday morning, a transit strike is very unlikely this weekend, and would remain unlikely until contracts with two other unions representing SEPTA workers expire on April 6th.

The source cautioned against reading anything into union negotiators’ absence from Friday morning’s session, Henry reported. The source said union negotiators were simply not prepared for the 9:00 a.m. session after bargaining late into the night Thursday night.

ORIGINAL: Fox 29 reports SEPTA is planning for 4,700 Philadelphia bus drivers, subway and trolley operators and maintenance workers to strike at midnight. Union reps didn’t show up for today’s scheduled talks.

At a news conference held late Friday morning, SEPTA disclosed its contingency plans. In the event of a work stoppage, all city bus, trolley and subway lines will be discontinued. Some suburban buses will have changes.

The Market-Frankford, Broad Street and Broad-Ridge Spur lines will also not run.

A strike would not, however, affect service on the Regional Rail lines.

We at Philly Mag have made our own preparations! Christopher Sawyer has warned that a strike might hurt SEPTA’s credibility, while I wrote earlier this month how the union can inconvenience commuters without sacrificing worker solidarity. We’re planning on a lot more walking, in any case.

This Is Why Your Trash Hasn’t Been Picked Up

On Tuesday, Philly Mag’s Victor Fiorillo noted his trash hadn’t been picked up in awhile, and made a dire threat/promise to dump his garbage on the lawn of Streets Commissioner David Petri.

It’s possible the Streets Department—which is responsible for trash pickup in the city—took notice: This morning there’s a “detailed explanation” for the trash delay on the department’s website.

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The Sad Grotesquerie of “People of SEPTA”

people of septa

Images: People of SEPTA

Guilt. And contempt.

Those are the two feelings that competed for my attention on Tuesday upon finding out the “SEPTA Mom” — she of the viral video, passed out while her daughter begged her to wake up — had lost custody of that daughter, removed from the home by DHS.

Guilt, because of this: Confronted with the same situation, I’m not sure what I’d do. I like to think I would’ve offered the little girl some help upon seeing her distress. But if the mother had woken up, if the two had scurried off the bus, I’d have probably been mostly grateful that the entire situation had passed into the realm of Not My Problem Anymore. Despite the outcry —”why didn’t any adults rush to help this girl?”— we asked at Philly Mag, I knew perfectly well why nobody helped: Short of stopping an act of violence, most of us would probably prefer not to involve ourselves in a stranger’s drama. It’s discomfitting, to say the least.

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Can Philly Afford its Fight Against Gentrification?

Photo | Laura Kicey

Photo | Laura Kicey

One of the cruel things about gentrification is that it can be like wanting someone who doesn’t want you back. Those who face the impact of gentrification have an unrequited love with a neighborhood that changes right before their eyes, only to do tell them that things are different now.

It’s not you, it’s me.

The building uncertainty, insecurity, change and devastation involved in gentrification is like a real estate break up that leaves former partners, who once grew together, standing on opposite sides as the other moves on to become a bigger, better (and probably greener) pasture.

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