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Grab a Cold One: PA beer distributors can now sell 12-packs

In a boon for partygoers everywhere who don't want to haul a whole case of brewskies, the state's beer distributors will now be allowed to sell 12-packs. 

The PLCB’s Office of Chief Counsel issued a legal advisory today “informing brewers that they may sell ‘original containers’ as long as the container contains at least 128 fluid ounces — for example a 12-pack — to distributors that may be resold ‘as is’ to consumers.”

For years, beer distributors have been able to sell beer only by the case or keg, while groceries, bars and convenience stores have gained the ability to sell six-packs, 12-packs, and individual bottles for consumption on premises.  

State Rep. Paul Costa, D-Wilkins and ranking minority party member of the House Liquor Control Committee, called the PLCB opinion “a step in the right direction to provide consumer convenience.”

“By allowing these 12-packs to be sold at beer distributors, customers get another choice in their beer selections,” he said. “It provides family-owned distributors more options in their product line [and supports] our breweries in Pennsylvania, so it’s a win-win situation.”

Original source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Check out the complete story here.

Inquirer publishes in-depth report on East Market development

The Inquirer takes an in-depth look at an essential section of Center City Philadelphia and its latest chapter.

If Philadelphia were a basketball court, Market Street East would be that inexplicable dead spot on the floor, the place where the ball just doesn’t bounce.

The eight-block corridor has four Dunkin’ Donuts and two Subway sandwich shops — but no outdoor cafe. A McDonald’s sits in what used to be a porn emporium...

For years, when people like Paul Levy pitched the route’s potential to developers, they answered, “Yeah, I get it, but nobody goes to Market Street.”

Now that’s changing — fast.

People involved in massive construction plans say that, finally, Market East is poised to become the worthy, prosperous connector of Center City’s two great icons, City Hall and Independence Mall.

“The pieces are in place,” said Levy, president of the Center City District, the marketing and planning agency. “’Inevitable’ may be too strong a word, but, ‘Very highly likely.’”

Want to learn more? Check out this Flying Kite feature from 2013.

Original source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
Read the complete story here.

The original Phillie Phanatic now trains future mascots

David Raymond, the original Phanatic, has become the go-to resource for teams, schools and businesses that want a mascot, or want to improve the one they have. Of course they want to learn from the best!

In the spring of 1978, a big furry green creature with a pot belly and a long snout appeared on a major-league baseball field in Philadelphia and forever raised the bar for the professional team mascot.

Beneath that Muppet-like exterior was David Raymond, who donned the costume as a young intern, stepped out on the field on a cool April night and began a career delighting crowds with wild, athletic antics unlike anything baseball had seen before. He spent 16 years as the Phillie Phanatic, the mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies, retiring in 1994...

Mr. Raymond charges $399 a person for a three-day Mascot Boot Camp, like the one he will be conducting at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania from March 20 to 22. His private Mascot Boot Camps range from $3,500 to $5,000 depending on the number of days and performers the client wants. If a client wants him to create a whole new character and have a consulting contract, it will cost $20,000 to $75,000. (Mr. Raymond contracts out the actual construction of the costume.) And if a client already has a mascot that does not quite work, Mr. Raymond will do what he calls “mascot intervention” for about $2,500.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

Two Philly spots make GQ's top 25 restaurants list

Two local restaurants have earned a place of honor of GQ's list of the country's 25 best restaurants.

Laurel at #8: The room might well be a shotgun apartment: front door leading to a tiny area (seating twenty) leading straight back to an undersized kitchen. There's not much decor, save for a few black iron sconces and hanging lamps. The chairs are exceedingly comfy, the service attentive, the stemware pleasing—all enhancements to a BYOB dining experience with a style of cooking I loved back when it was called “modern French.” Yet the most stunning dish was pure Americana, catfish in a coconut-clam broth. Hard to imagine a kitchen in Philly accomplishing what the South has been trying to do for centuries: make catfish elegant. Chef Nicholas Elmi does it gracefully. His meat dishes are intensely flavorful, particularly duck magret and foie gras. Stylishness has come to East Passyunk Avenue, once ground zero for cheesesteaks, now fast emerging as Philly's premier dining locale.

Lo Spiedo at #24: Come here for a little history and a lot of meat. Lo Spiedo is located just inside the old navy yard, where the battleship New Jersey was built. Almost as sturdy is the reginette bolognese. “Too much meat,” I griped. “Marc Vetri knows what he's doing,” argued a friend. He always does. Here you'll find glorified Americanized Italian food, including a gutsy celery-root milanese sandwich. If vegetarians gave out medals, it deserves the Navy Cross.
Original source: GQ
Read the complete list here.

The Philadelphia Flower Show celebrates the movies

The Philadelphia Flower Show pays tribute to Disney and Pixar films with the theme "Celebrate the Movies." The show runs through March 8.

Meticulously landscaped exhibits have been inspired by more than a dozen features, from "Frozen" and "Finding Nemo" to "Cars" and "Cinderella."

Visitors enter through a huge, art deco theater facade as if they were attending a red carpet premiere. Palm trees, roses and lilies help recreate the ornate interior of a 1920s movie palace, while moss, jewels, fabric and other blooms cascade down from "chandeliers" overhead.

Billed as the nation's largest and longest-running flower show, it covers 10 acres and dates back to 1829. Organizers hope this year's family-friendly theme will help a new crop of gardening enthusiasts establish roots at the annual extravaganza, which runs through March 8.

"Introducing that new generation, that younger generation to the flower show is something that we want to do," said Drew Becher, president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which sponsors the show.

Original source: The Associated Press (via The New York Times)
Read the complete story here.

Philadelphia School District nets $42 million from sale of shuttered schools

The School District has cleared some serious cash from the sale of its vacant buildings -- but it's still not as much as promised.

The George W. Childs Elementary School at 17th andTasker in South Philadelphia once resonated with the sounds of more than 500 students traipsing its halls and reciting their lessons. 

The school relocated in 2010, leaving behind a century-old building that's now slated to become a mixed-income housing complex.

Childs is one of 12 former schools the district has sold since 2013. Sales are pending for another 14 properties. These empty buildings have been cast alternately as neighborhood eyesores, reminders of upheaval in the city's education landscape and sources of revenue for a cash-strapped district...

Out of a total $67.6 million in building sales over the last two years, the district netted $42 million after bonds and closing costs.

That disparity is one reason why the district drew fire from public school advocates such as Helen Gym, who questioned whether the district could use "under-utilization" as a rationale for closing school buildings while simultaneously expanding charter schools.

Original source: Newsworks
Read the complete story here.

The 2016 Democratic National Convention comes to Philadelphia!

Philadelphia has been awarded the 2016 Democratic National Convention. It's a huge boon for the area and a symbol of its progress.

Maybe it was the private nighttime visit to Independence National Historical Park, where the Democrats’ top national official got to touch the Liberty Bell.

Whatever it was that sealed the deal, Democrats on Thursday chose Philadelphia for their 2016 national convention, looking ahead to Independence Hall and other symbols of America’s birth bathing their presidential nominee in a patriotic aura.

"In addition to their commitment to a seamless and safe convention, Philadelphia’s deep-rooted place in American history provides a perfect setting for this special gathering," Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, who had caressed the Liberty Bell, said in her announcement.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.


Buzz Bissinger lists some Dos and Don'ts for the arriving DNC hordes

The curmudgeonly author of 'Prayer for the City' shares some tips with Politico readers. Some of our favorites:

DON’T come near a cheesesteak. They are gnarly and fundamentally deranged in conception. Until you eat one. Then they are almost worth the guilt you will inevitably feel because you just ate one and likely ingested fifty or sixty thousand calories. Instead satisfy your cravings in what is America's most interesting and diverse culinary city. Try one of the many BYOBs. They are small and intimate and the food stunning and the cost reasonable.

DO drive on the Schuylkill Expressway one night to see the twinkling lights of Boathouse Row against the backdrop of the art museum and the Fairmount Water Works and the city skyline. It is the single most spectacular view in the city. Then be prepared to die since the expressway is the worst engineered highway in history (for a real death thrill, take the South Street exit heading east and try to merge).

DO be prepared to have a ball. The city is truly divine and you will feel pampered. Now if only there was no convention …

Original source: Politico
Read the complete story here.

Drexel student starts feeding frenzy in the 'Shark Tank'

A Drexel student-entrepreneur started a feeding frenzy in the Shark Tank, eventually earning a deal with two sharks for his app Scholly. Check out the video here.

Original source: ABC

Six more weeks of winter says PA groundhog

That's right: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on February 2, crushing hearts across the country.

On an overcast morning, Phil the groundhog gazed at the sky, looked for his shadow and at about 7:25 a.m. ET told his handler Bill Deeley his prediction: "Forecasts abound on the Internet, but, I, Punxsutawney Phil am still your best bet. Yes, a shadow I see, you can head to Twitter, hashtag: Six more weeks of winter!"

Phil's prediction on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., came as a winter storm moved from the Midwest to the Northeast.

Original source: NPR
Read the complete story here.

Philly 0.0 Instant Gratification Run is all fun, no work

This run has everything -- drinks, t-shirts, food -- without the actual running.

The Philly 0.0 Instant Gratification Run finished a step after it started Friday night. An official time of 1 second was given to each of the estimated 350 participants, who paid $20 to $35 apiece for a T-shirt, beer, food and live music. It was a race like any other race except for, well, the actual running.

Traditional races have spawned any number of novelty alternatives: obstacle courses featuring mud, fire and barbed wire; mile runs in which participants chug a beer before each of four laps around a track; color runs in which participants are showered with kaleidoscopic cornstarch.

And now, inspired by a cartoon, comes the nonrun, with the motto “All the fun, none of the commitment!”

Depending on one’s view, Friday’s race was an existential comment on engagement and responsibility; a critique or embrace of entitlement and self-importance; a celebration or rejection of couch-potato sloth; a chance for serious runners to shake off the midwinter doldrums with silly fun; or a sly enticement of nonrunners, luring them to what may be the best part of a race — the after-party.

“We wanted to prove that with no hard work, no perseverance and no discipline, anyone can be a winner,” said Dan Babeu, 40, of Levittown, Pa.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

Philadelphia University basketball coach passes tremendous milestone

This local legend recently became only the second NCAA men's basketball coach to win 1,000 games. 

[Philadelphia University coach Herb] Magee hit the milestone with the Rams' 80-60 win over Post on Saturday. He has won all 1,000 games over 48 seasons at the 3,600-student private Division II university in Philadelphia.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is the only other NCAA men's coach to win 1,000 games. Krzyzewski won his 1,000th game on Jan. 25 against St. John's at Madison Square Garden. He is the fourth men's coach in all divisions to reach the milestone.
Magee needed two tries after the Rams (15-6, 9-3 Central Athletic Collegiate Conference) lost this week to Wilmington.

"Relief. I don't make that up," Magee said. "That's the way I felt. Ask my wife, she'll tell you. It's been a tough situation because the hype is there and everyone is pulling for us as a team but they're really pulling for me to get 1,000 wins because they know how important it is. It means a lot."

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

Governor Tom Wolf appoints transgender woman physician general

The state's new governor has already demonstrated a commitment to diversity, appointing a transgender woman as physician general.

Dr. [Rachel] Levine, a resident of Middletown, Pennsylvania, is currently a professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where she also serves as chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders, a program she created on her own. She has also worked actively with the school’s Office of Diversity, mentoring LGBT students, faculty and staff, and she sits on the board of Equality PA.

...In a press release sent out this weekend, Wolf explains why he chose her for this position:

“Dr. Rachel Levine is well-respected in the fields of pediatrics, psychiatry, and behavioral health, where she has practiced for close to three decades. She has been a leading voice in efforts to treat teens with medical and psychological problems, as well as adults and children with eating disorders. It is important to me that we place equal emphasis on behavioral and physical health issues. Dr. Levine will bring expertise and wide-ranging knowledge to this important role advising the secretary of Health and me on medical and public health matters."

Original source: Philadelphia Magazine
Read the complete story here.

Washington Post backs Philly for 2016 Democratic Convention

The Washington Post blogger thinks Philly is an ideal choice for the 2016 Democratic Convention.

As much as I love my home town, New York City, and would love to see Brooklyn host the 2016 Democratic convention, I have to agree with my MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews. The party’s next presidential standard-bearer should accept the nomination in Philadelphia. “By gathering in iconic Philadelphia, Democrats could lay claim to not just the flag but what it stands for,” Matthews argued Sunday in The Post. “A week there, sparkling with American values, could produce the kind of inspiring national convention we’ve missed in recent years.”?

Original source: The Washington Post
Read the complete story here.

Dinner service grows at public schools

Schools serving an after-school snack or dinner is a growing national trend, and Philadelphia is at the forefront. According to The New York Times, the number of students served dinner or an after-school snack nationwide rose to nearly 1 million last year.

More recent research indicates while family dinners can be linked to fewer symptoms of depression, most of the other benefits seem to decrease when demographic and other environmental factors are taken into account. At a time when many families have hectic schedules, dinner at school could provide some relief, said Rachel Dunifon, a policy professor at Cornell University.
"If these meals help alleviate stress, it could actually be good and open up more time for families," she said.

[The Los Angeles Unified School District] currently serves supper to 75,000 students and plans to expand the program to about 150,000 over the next two years. School officials estimate it will generate $16.6 million in revenue, which will go toward expanding the program.

Other large, urban districts with dinner programs include Philadelphia and District of Columbia public schools. Wayne Grasela, senior vice president for food services, said the School District of Philadelphia now serves 4,500 dinners each day.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.
861 Articles | Page: | Show All
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