Archive for the ‘Regional News’ Category

Parkway Emergency Drill, Fairmount, Art Museum, Alert

What if there was an emergency on or around the Parkway while an event was happening? Amost every weekend something is going on in and around the Parkway, Art Museum, or Drives. The city in an attempt to be prepared is having an emergency drill tonight.

This Monday night drill will impact driving, Septa lines, and give you cause to wonder, “What’s going on?”

The following is from the READY PHILADELPHIA site about tonights exercise.

Road Closures and Detours
Road closures and detours will be in effect from approximately 6:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. The Police Department will barricade these locations:

Fairmount Avenue and Kelly Drive (inbound only)
Traffic will be detoured onto Fairmount Avenue. Right onto Pennsylvania to 21st Street, right onto 21st Street back to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

25th Street and Kelly Drive (inbound)
No traffic permitted into Eakins Oval.

25th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
Access to the Art Museum and Spring Garden Street Bridge will be through the Spring Garden Street Tunnel ONLY.

Spring Garden Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
Spring Garden Street traffic will access the tunnel for travel to West Philadelphia.

Eakins Oval at the outbound Kelly Drive entrance
No traffic permitted into Eakins Oval. This closure will allow outbound Parkway traffic to go north onto Kelly Drive.

Monday, August 6, 2007
Road Closures:
6:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Exercise: 8:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Eakins Oval, Benjamin Franklin Parkway

This is only a drill – there is no impending threat to the citizens of Philadelphia or the region.

During this exercise, residents should expect to see a large number of Fire and Emergency Medical vehicles, as well as private ambulances, responding to Eakins Oval, Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Residents should understand that there is no actual emergency.

Philly MS Walk May 6th

Hey Philadelphia…
For the first year, I will be participating in the MS Walk. My ma dukes, Beth O’Connell, has battled the disease for over 10 years. My mom is the most important person in my life, and anything I can do to help her and the many others who are suffering from MS is at least something. My sister Erin who has been down here in Philly for almost two years, has participated in MS Walks in Philly, NYC and our hometown of Portland, Maine for the past couple years, and this year she decided to start her own team, Beth’s Buddies. The MS Walk in Philly is on May 6th. It’s a fun little jaunt up the river and down the river. Take the time to not only enjoy what will hopefully be a great spring day, but to help find a cure for MS.
By joining Beth’s Buddies, you will be signing up not just for a day of fun, but also for a celebration of the great things we can achieve when working together for a common cause. Each step we take brings us one step closer to a cure – and closer to a world without multiple sclerosis. So what are you waiting for? Join my team today or make a donation on my behalf.

P.S. If you would like more information about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, how proceeds from the MS Walk are used, or the other ways you can get involved in the fight against MS, please visit

Click here to view the team page for Beth’s Buddies
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:

The WHYY Fund Drive Continues

Friday night, I drove home from a friend’s house, relieved that the WHYY fund drive was over and I’d be able to listen to my radio in peace. Except that when I turned my radio on this morning, I discovered that the drive hasn’t ended. This is because the station missed their goal. By a lot. So they are going to continue to make on-air reminders that they still need people to make their pledges until they get what they need to operate.

I renew my WHYY membership every year. It’s the one station I listen to every day and I appreciate the programming they provide and so I do what I can to support them (even from my limited graduate student budget). If you listen to the station and haven’t yet made a pledge, please consider doing so. They’ll be overjoyed and maybe, someday, the pledge drive will end.

Center City Go Boom

Around 1:00 this afternoon four PECO transformers exploded in center city while crews were doing repairs underground. Manhole covers blew off and 16th street between Chestnut and Market was closed off, causing all sorts of traffic fun.

Meghan Walter, who works at 16th and Chestnut, said: “Billows of smoke rose from the ground and steam grates as well as a huge fire ball. Quite terrifying/thrilling.”

For more details, there is an article and video on

The Rita’s Water Ice Mascot

Yeah. This was taken in Northeast Philadelphia, where a Rita’s Water Ice was advertising their sponsorship with Alex’s Lemonade Stand. The lemon-flavored water ice at all Rita’s locations has been renamed to “Alex’s Lemonade” and various branches have been holding fundraisers and other fun stuff to raise both awareness and funds for the fight against childhood cancer.

I think the poor guy dressed in the furry water ice suit in 90-degree weather has given enough to the cause.

It’s a bird, It’s a plane, It’s… mosquito repellant!

You know those wetlands near the airport? There’s some others near the Betsy Ross Bridge, too. There’s also a wastewater treatment plant near Penrose Ferry Road in southwest Philly. All these places are perfect breeding grounds for mosquito larvae, and we all know by now that mosquitos carry West Nile! The Inquirer has the scoop:

“Beginning around 8 a.m. today, a helicopter will spray the granular larvicide VectoLex CG over wetlands in and around the biosolid and wastewater treatment plants operated by Philadelphia near Penrose Ferry Road in Southwest Philadelphia. The crew also will treat wetlands on the east side of Philadelphia International Airport. Next, wetlands at the city’s Northeast wastewater treatment plant near the Betsy Ross Bridge will be sprayed.”

Don’t worry, it’s not chemical pesticide. Apparently, VectoLex goes for mosquitos by their bacteria. Fancy that technology.

Philadelphia’s Not Prepared For An Emergency

According to an article in the July 2006 issue of Reader’s Digest, Philadelphia is the 8th most prepared major city in America out of 10 if a disaster were to hit us.

Judging criteria under crisis communications, medial response, and emergency readiness, Reader’s Digest judged Detroit, Miami, Las Vegas, NYC, L.A., Houston, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. Miami and NYC were tied for their disaster readiness, scoring an 81% out of 100%.

Philadelphia falls flat in having a locla search-and-rescue task force, meeting CDC guidelines to distribute the National Stockpile, having successfully delpyed E911, and having 500 hospital beds per 100,000 residences. Philadelphia excels in having a local laboratory that specialize in bio and chem threats. We lead Las Vegas and Detroit.

Being the fifth most populous city in the nation, but being eighth in terms of prepared for a disaster? It might be far-fetched, but it’s still something that could be improved upon.

You can read the RD article here.

Light Up Somewhere Else!

Today, City Council passed a law banning smoking throughout the city. In a bill sponsored by Councilman Michael Nutter, the smoking ban affects most public restaurants, businesses, and public spaces in Philadelphia. The only exemption is small neighborhood taverns and cafés, whose money comes in most with alcohol sales. Councilman Brian O’Neil presented his opinion before the vote, opposing the bill because it didn’t ban smoking for everyone. He equated the bill with “prohibiting smoking in first class.” The ban passed by a vote of 9-6. According to KYW 1060, the mayor, who had previously indicated he had problems with the proposed legislation, did not immediately indicate whther he would sign the new bill into law. Today is the last session before City Council goes on summer break and will not return until the fall.

Edit: Reading more on the ban, another exemption for the ban is tobacco shops, and all the exemptions would be permanent. If Mayor Street approves the bill, it’ll go into effect January 2007. Councilman Jim Kenney said, “I’ve had people actually out in bars and restaurants who are smokers, who said to me, ‘I wish you’d pass it so I’d smoke less or I’d quit.'”

This is a Catholic town, not that I’m a Catholic girl.

I’m not Catholic. I have never been Catholic, and I will never be Catholic.
But I still think it’s funny that Philly is still a “Catholic town”.

Don’t believe me? Check out this screengrab from the front page of WHOO! Nigerian bishops are front page news in this town!

A Sandwich???

Logging into my comcast email account this morning, this headline caught my eye: Man Kills Girlfriend Over Sandwich. I couldn’t help it, I had to click through and read the article. It turns out it happened in Uniontown, PA, not far from the border of West Virginia.

After throwing her to the floor, Fordyce threw a microwave oven onto McCann’s chest after she refused to heat up sandwiches for him, he told police. Fordyce also said he stomped on McCann’s chest repeatedly then banged her head on the floor until she lost consciousness _ but that he also said he didn’t mean to kill her, police said.

“It was an accident. I didn’t do it on purpose,” police quoted Fordyce as saying.

What do you say to something so tragically ridiculous?

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