I’m not entirely sure how much of an honor it is for a river to be named “Pennsylvania River of the Year,” but for what its worth: Our westerly waterway is up for the honor, as one of five statewide nominees in the running for the 2014 title. The others are Brodhead Creek and Watershed in the Poconos, West Branch of the Susquenhanna River in north-central PA, the Kiskiminetas-Conemaugh Rivers in southwest PA, and the Ohio River (blasphemy!) in the far western part of the state. The winner is determined by online voting.
The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, a nonprofit organization HQ’d in Harrisburg, runs the award process in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. They’ve been doling out River of the Year awards since 1983, an honor the Schuylkill has won only one time in 1999 (the nerve!). Last year, our fair Schuylkill lost to Southwestern PA’s Monongahela River by just 146 votes. Seriously, guys, we’re due for a home-turf win.
Click on this State Impact story and you’ll see a photo of Michael Nutter and Tom Corbett, awkwardly trying to cut a ribbon with the same pair of oversized scissors. Why? To celebrate the opening of a new rail yard that will facilitate the import of crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken shale to the massive refinery that sits on the banks of the Schuylkill.
For the first time since 1999, several main Schuylkill River bridges have been re-lit, this time with natty new LED lights. Walnut, Market, JFK, and a SEPTA bridge all got upgraded last night. (The Chestnut Street span, which is undergoing upgrades, will have to wait a couple of years for its makeover.) Here’s what it looked like last night after the lights were flipped on.
We don’t know much about why the feds are snooping around the Schuylkill below Falls Bridge, but 6 ABC reports it has something to do with “white-collar crime.”
A large cadre of law enforcement is assisting federal investigators this morning in the vicinity of the Falls Bridge in Philadelphia’s East Falls section….An FBI dive team is in the water leading the search.
Quick, everyone think up potential white-collar criminals who live in East Falls! [6 ABC]
Congratulations, Tom, you win the prize! It was last night’s massive rain that caused the brown color. Environmentally speaking, by the way, brown rivers are actually a good thing. As the prevalence of acid rain has subsided since the ’70s, a 2007 Nature study found, (brown-looking) organic matter has become more soluble, and now slips much more easily into our water streams. Before the heydey of acid-drenched soil, in other words, brown water was probably not so uncommon.
The fight (the row, if you will) over Temple’s proposed boathouse off Kelly Drive is over. Facing blowback from the city and the Philadelphia Parks Alliance, Temple has withdrawn its plans to build a spiffy new facility for its river-riding athletes. The controversy was such: Temple wanted to build a $8 million-$12 million, 23,000 square foot building by the Strawberry Mansion Bridge, but didn’t want to abide by the city’s new law that it give a similar parcel of open land to the city in exchange. Instead, it pledged to renovate its old boathouse for $1.5 million. The Parks alliances was peeved, the city was nonplussed, and now Temple has gotten the message. And the school’s crew will continue rowing out of a tent. [Daily News]
Police say the unidentified driver was going eastbound (towards Center City) on Kelly Drive when he cut right in front of another vehicle crossing from the left lane into the right and then up on the curb about 30 yards before Boathouse Row. A passerby saw the crash and jumped in to try and free the driver but was unable to get the man out. Police say the Good Samaritan also was hospitalized with non-life-threatening cuts on his wrist, shoulder and chest.
The 73-year-old man was pulled out at 12:50 p.m. today near Boathouse Row and declared dead at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 29 minutes later. [NBC 10]
Gavin’s Cafe at 26th and Pine is hosting another Empanada Fest today. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. the empanadas will be coming heavy. But as much as we love empanadas, don’t sleep on the Maicenitas, an Argentine cookie sandwiche with Dulce de Leche filling.
Today from 5 to 7 p.m. the attractive Gavn’s Cafe at 26th and Pine is celebrating Argentine Week in Philadelphia. The cafe will be offering four kinds of empanadas (beef, spinach, ham and cheese, chicken) as well as Alfajores, Argentine cookie sandwiches with Dulce de Leche filling. Choose any three items for just $6.50.