Archive for July, 2011

Looks like trying to be environmentally conscious can get you into trouble in this town as a Mount Airy resident recently discovered.  Despite what the mayor says, it seems like we’re walking a thin green line.  Growing food would certainly be considered a good thing (though that vacant lot may not be vacant enough and greenbacks may trump greening), but not everyone in this city is a nature lover.  And I’m not just referring to those lifelong residents who say “trees are dirty.”

Vegetative (police) state?


Thank goodness SOMEONE in this city cares about education!  The police department is making a huge effort to educate all those crazy and dangerous people who ride bikes in Center City.  It seems that these cyclists just don’t have the sense that the average motorist does and, if you drive in Philly, you know just how smart and conscientious that demographic is.

As police Capt. Alan Clark states, “[Motorists] don’t need education. If they ran a red light, they know what they did.” That’s right, motorists are fully aware that they’re a danger to themselves and others, but cyclists need this message to be drummed into them by Philly’s finest.  Stu Bykofsky of the Daily News will tell you just how nuts it is to try and commute by bicycle, like those whacked out Dutch people in Amsterdam.  These are PEOPLE WHO WEAR WOODEN SHOES for godssake! Are we going to look to them as an example of anything?!?

Riding a bike after the age of 12 is just madness.  Normal adults drive cars!  Once we convince bicyclists, then maybe we can get all those weirdos off public transportation and into a nice safe SUV as well.   It’s really just a matter of respect…And, more importantly, I know I feel safer knowing the PPD is focused on this key urban safety issue.  I might get strangled in Center City, but a cyclist will now think twice before riding too close to me!

Catholic statues in trouble!?!?!  Sounds like a job for

Sounds like he always had brass balls...


We work in the city, and not a particularly nice neighborhood, nor exactly rural (the sort of area whose most abundant forms of wildlife are the pit bull and cock-fighting chickens). However, we have a significant greenspace and a resident groundhog.  One of my colleagues named it Snuggles (don’t ask…).  Snuggles has been there a couple of years and even had babies last year.  Baby groundhogs are pretty darn cute.  Anyway, my coworker came down to my cube last night all excited to tell me a bird was riding on Snuggles.  Civil servants are an odd bunch, but I thought, “he’s really lost his mind now.”  So I looked out the window and, sure enough, there was Snuggles with a starling following her.  Then the bird hopped up on the groundhog’s back and started pecking at stuff in its fur!  And Snuggles just kept waddling along eating grass – just like those rhinos and tickbirds on the Serengeti!

 Who knew you could have an episode of Animal Planet in the middle of the ‘hood!  (Disclaimer:  groundhog photo has been “retouched”.)

Good for Karen Brown, she’s gonna create a revolution like the good Tea Partier that she is (ignore the fact that she was a Democrat just last year)!  First she’s going to save public education by abolishing the teachers’ union! Hmmm…is that really the FIRST thing you’d do to fix our schools?  Well, whatever….

And, not to say she doesn’t have stellar academic credentials, but I may have to quibble with her mathematical skills.  She had trouble figuring out her age for several years running.  She also, apparently, founded the Southwark Civic Association, although there has been an association by that very name since the 1990s IN LONDON.  I’m afraid it’s a bit like that song says “don’t know much about geography” because her Philadelphia association is not even within the acknowledged boundaries of what used to known as Southwark (now Queen Village and Pennsport).

Maybe this is her driving ambition, to save children from the rotten education she herself received.  She might want to start by spelling the word “education”  correctly on her official election website…

How do you spell "refrom"?

Today is the day of the Vendy’s  (and no, that’s not Yiddish for Wendy’s) –  an award served to the best food truck in Philly, which will compete with other vendors at the Piazza at Schmidts.  (zwarte piet, posting on said, “well it is good to see someone other than criminals facing off at the piazza”  and I’m afraid we have to agree).  It looks like a good time even if there is a pretty steep “cover charge” to watch the cooks face off.  Usually if you’re eating at a food truck it’s because you want a cheap meal and $55 ain’t cheap.  But it is a benefit after all so splurge! enjoy! fress! hanoe hobn!

It should be mentioned that there have been food truck competitions in other cities, but knowing Philly and it’s ruthless efficiency, I suspect this one may be just a bit different…

Guaranteed to give you indigestion...

Every ten years, consistent with the census, the City Charter requires council to redraw voting district lines as population shifts.  This has led to one of the WORST GERRYMANDERED DISTRICTS IN THE COUNTRY!

The council has until September to create the new boundaries, which is plenty of time, unless, of course, your job offers a 12 WEEK VACATION!  The most glaring issue this time around is the fact that half the city lost population while the other half gained so carving it up may not be that easy…

At least council is handling this themselves and not using some fancy-schmancy, high tech agency like the city’s GIS unit.  That free AAA map, a knowledge of the ethnic make-up of the ‘hoods, and a pencil is all they need!  And since the shape of the districts are wide open, here are a few fun suggestions…