Monday, December 28, 2015

Year in Review: Mike Piazza talks baseball, infrastructure at Route 23 bridge ribbon cutting ceremony

Schuylkill Township, PA--In early October, the Route 23 bridge over the Pickering Creek opened to automobile traffic after nearly five months of reconstruction. A throng of celebrities and politicians attended the highly anticipated opening of the span, which carries 20,000 vehicles a day. Schuylkill Township's own Mike Piazza, the 12-time All-Star retired MLB catcher, gave the keynote speech at the opening ceremony. "Bridges are like a close play at home plate, they are crucial to communities. Bridges are like an intentional walk, they unite towns. Bridges are like a slider in the dirt that you block to prevent the runner on third from scoring the go-ahead run. But, most importantly, bridges, like baseball, bring us all together," said Piazza, to an estimated crowd of 2,500 onlookers, some sitting on folding chairs atop the adjacent Pickering dam. Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell lauded the new bridge, then led the lively crowd in the Philadelphia Eagles fight song: Fly, Eagles Fly. Movie director M. Night Shyamalan, who filmed portions of "The Happening" less than a mile east of the bridge in 2007, called the project a great addition to northern Chester County's infrastructure. (Shyamalan is making a documentary on the reconstruction of the bridge that he claims is "way better than 'The Happening' and has a surprise ending.")

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Year in Review: Demand for Papal visit bike share passes crashes Indego website

Above: The Indego bike station on the 900 block of Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. In July, high traffic volume crashed the Indego bike share website during sales of the special Papal Pedal Passes. The passes allowed access to the 600 bicycles in the system, but only ten of the sixty stations during the Pope Francis visit on September 26 and 27. "Bikes did not stop at every station. Parking at the stations was limited so bike users were dropped off or took a shuttle to the stations. Passes were only good for the name of the station printed on the pass," said one official. The website was restored after one week giving the public a second chance to claim one of the 350,000 available Papal Pedal Passes. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Holiday party guests definitely noticed Sixers ornament on lower branch at back of tree

"I moved the ornament before the party started, but I think everyone saw it. I heard people whispering," said one party host.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Report: Bear Grylls offered Drew Brees tips on how to catch, eat animal mascots from 2015 schedule

Pelican Reef, LA--New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees appeared on the outdoor adventure television series "Running Wild with Bear Grylls" in early September in the Panama jungle. The British adventurer Bear Grylls and Brees teamed up to catch and eat a crocodile in the wild during the episode. At the conclusion of filming, Grylls insisted on to breaking down the Saints upcoming schedule to see what animal mascots the team would face. "[Bear] really got into it," said Brees. "He sat me down and went week by week through the schedule, and if the opponent was an animal mascot he spent, like, an hour on how to catch and eat that animal in the wild if the opportunity were ever to present itself. It was a little disturbing."

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Report: WMOF turned down millions to have PayPal as official sponsor of event: The PayPal Visit

WMOF officials wanted the Holy Father's visit to be known as the PayPal Papal Visit, but the online payment company held firm with PayPal Visit--negotiations broke down.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Valley Forge Park to begin country's first tick tagging & tracking program

Valley Forge National Historical Park, PA--A radical wildlife tracking program is set to begin later this month at the 3,500-acre park that straddles the border of Montgomery and Chester Counties. On August 27, scientists will begin catching, tagging, and releasing hundreds of ticks to better understand the park's expansive population of parasitic arachnids. "We want to know their movements, what animals and people they're mostly attaching to, what they eat," said tick expert Joanna Petrick, a professor at nearby Tredyffrin University. Technology has made this groundbreaking study possible, which is mostly being funded by a grant from the American Revolution Foundation. After catching each tick, a "microscopic tracker"--five times smaller than the diameter of a human hair--will be affixed to the back of each tick. One nearby resident, a financial adviser with no knowledge of the park's fauna, estimates the tick population at around five billion. "I'm basing that number on nothing other than there certainly seems like there are five billion ticks in Valley Forge Park," said the resident. Kids can log onto the park's website and track their favorite ticks, as staff will name the first one hundred tagged and released.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Mayor insists that ad to 'come celebrate town's 241st Fourth of July parade' is no typo

"We declared our independence on July 4, 1774. Yep, we were the first--and actually had an elaborate parade that day--but it cost us dearly. About half the town was shot down by the creek the next morning."

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Nautical revelers very confused as Tall Ships Festival simply a model ship exhibition

"I thought they were going to be full-size ships, not models," said Dennis Harris, a Medford, NJ, resident. "I paid $85 for a 90-minute Delaware River cruise aboard a tall ship. How does that work? It's not the Small Ships Festival"

Friday, June 19, 2015

Papal Visit: Philadelphia, MontCo, ChesCo, to purchase lots of 15-passenger pedicabs for Schuylkill River Trail transport into, out of city

Philadelphia--Yesterday, the city, in partnership with Montgomery and Chester Counties, revealed an ambitious plan to turn forty miles of the popular Schuylkill River (multi-use) Trail into a "major transportation artery" for the Pope Francis visit in September. How? Pedicabs...lots of them. In fact, the three counties, using a $700K grant from the Papal People Partnership, will purchase two hundred, fifteen-passenger pedicycles to be used to (slowly) shuttle visitors into and out of the city on September 26 and 27. Pedicabs will leave from Pottstown, Spring City, Phoenixville, Oaks, Norristown, Conshohocken, Spring Mill, Manayunk, and East Falls. The journey from Pottstown to Center City, roughly forty miles, via the human-powered cabs could take about five hours--if all passengers are truly pedaling and there is a generous tailwind. No other bicycles will be permitted on the trail on September 26 and 27 to clear the way for the cabs. "This is really going to take the pressure off our roads and rails," said Gary Saint Jasperson, interim operating manager of the Ches-Mont Transportation Authority. "But the plan can only work if all fifteen passengers are pedaling." Additionally, the city and Septa announced that Paoli train station will be the only suburban rail station operating on the entire Septa regional rail network during the Saturday and Sunday of the World Meeting of Families. "If you live in Bucks County or New Jersey, for example, and you want to use regional rail to get into the city, you must drive to Paoli," said Saint Jasperson. "Yes, it will be crowded in Paoli, but we'll have plenty of orange cones set up. Really, we just purchased about seventy-five brand new orange cones."

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Customer carefully reviewing wide beer selection at Wegmans Craft Your Own Pack section quietly filling carrier with six Budweisers

Upper Merion, PA--Harry Oliver is not into the craft beer movement. He is, quite simply, "a Budweiser, Coors, Miller kind of guy." Oliver is in the minority among his friends of late twenty-somethings who regularly make pilgrimages to local brew pubs to taste the latest creation of a mad brewer. "I don't need cinnamon or pumpkin in my beer," said a defensive Oliver. "I just don't." But the system analytics coordinator of analysis doesn't particularly like to advertise that he's not aboard the craft beer express. "Yes, I could go to Wegmans and simply buy a six pack of Budweiser, but I like to go to the build-your-own-six-pack section, look intensely over all of the beers like I'm really interested in them, pick one up, read it, put it back, then, when no one or few are looking, quickly put a Budweiser into the carrying case," explained Oliver, referring to his beer-buying excursions to the supermarket chain. "I won't take all six at one time. I'll slowly build the pack with all 'weiser or Miller, while acting like I give a damn about the other beers. I know it's a bit phony, but there's a lot of pressure to be into local craft beer. A LOT of pressure." The King of Prussia resident admits he gets strange looks when other customers--building six packs with micro beers, agonizing over each selection, debating which bottle or can has earned the right to fill one of the six coveted slots of the cardboard holder--get a glance of Oliver's macro beer lineup. Notes: Oliver claims to have found away around the "no more than two (2) of one variety of beer rule" when building a six pack but would not divulge.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Wawa at Broad and Walnut to have seating, full bar, valet parking, live music

The popular convenience store chain is creating the country's first "gastr-hoagie pub" in Center City Philadelphia and will feature touchscreen ordering from tables. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Anonymous donation ensures Spruce Street Harbor Park dolphins will return for 2015 season

Above: Fresh water Dolphins, Cindy and Sandy--yes, named after the fearless Jaws 3 mammals--perform at the Spruce Street Harbor Park in August 2014. The pair's return for the 2015 season was uncertain until an anonymous donation was made to cover the steep costs associated with keeping the dolphins in the inner water garden area of the floating portion of the park for three months. Adventure Aquarium, just across the river in Camden, NJ, loaned Cindy and Sandy to the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, the park's operator, last season and covered much of the costs. "The dolphins were a huge hit last summer," said one DRWC official. "It's a very tight space and the dolphins were real troopers. We may put up splash guards to protect patrons during the performances."

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Popular Philly gastropub unveils Sam Bradford sandwich: avocado, chicken, & lettuce

"Someone created the BLT, we just created the ACL," said the eatery's owner. "For just $1.50 more you can make it a double ACL."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What was motive behind Chip Kelly's disguise at the NFL Combine? (If it really was Chip Kelly)

Indianapolis--Was that Chip Kelly? A man who claimed to be a scout for the NHL's Winnipeg Jets, holding several worn stopwatches, was spotted evaluating the nearly 300 talented athletes at the NFL Combine daily from February 17-23 at Lucas Oil Stadium. The individual, who introduced himself as "Gary Reynolds from the Jets," knew quite a lot about the Philadelphia Eagles and the team's needs in the upcoming April/May NFL draft. The bizarre get-up--if it really was Chip Kelly--fooled most coaches, players, and front office personnel present at the high profile tryout. "I like this Mariota guy," said Reynolds/Kelly. "He'd fit in nicely with the Birds uptempo system, er, I mean, as a right winger up in Manitoba."