SEPTA for sale

IMG_4960.JPGToday it was announced that SEPTA’s Market East station would be renamed Jefferson Station in a sponsorship deal with SEPTA and the city of Philadelphia. I didn’t have a problem with this until I read the following line:

In a similar deal in 2010, SEPTA sold the naming rights for Pattison Station on the Broad Street Subway, rechristening it AT&T Station. That five-year deal cost AT&T $5.4 million, of which SEPTA received $3.4 and its advertising agent, New York-based Titan Worldwide, got $2 million.

A 5 year deal? Are you telling me that in 5 years when AT&T is gobbled by the Walmart/Google/Comcast conglomerate that’s sure to happen, we’ll be in for another name change?

In the 20 years that the Susquehanna Bank Center has been in Camden, it has had 2 previous names (I still refer to it as the Tweeter Center by periodically). The Wells Fargo Center is even worse with 4 total names in 18 years (I still miss calling it the FU Center – one of the more unfortunate names in sports history). This seems like a bad idea for transportation centers, where the idea is to be easily found. How easy will it be when the names change every few years? I mean, can Xfinity City Hall be too far behind?

I’m all for SEPTA coming up with creative solutions for funding, especially when you have state leaders that don’t care about public transit. That said, I hope they have the good sense to remember that these names actually do have a purpose, and don’t change them every time they get a high bidder.

85 dogs convince me to not move into Philadelphia

[picappgallerysingle id="181787"]

This is one of the saddest stories I’ve read in a long time. How does a city allow something like this happen? 7 years of complaints, 87 dogs (including two dead), two cats, and a stench that caused even the most experienced PSPCA officers to leave the house for a break. How does this happen? One word: bureaucracy.

The story about 739 Earp St. on Philadelphia Weekly is pretty amazing. This one article convinced me that I should stay in the suburbs. The fact that these taxpayers complained to the city government, city council, the PSPCA, Licensing and Inspections – and were unable to get any of them to act until a false tip was called in, tells me all I need to know about my hometown.

One thing about living in my small town, just outside of Philly – if something is happening that I want to ask about, I can call or email my councilperson and expect a response. I don’t know how these people dealt with it for as long as they did. I would have gotten in trouble.

So for all of that, I’ll stay in the suburbs. Close enough to enjoy, but far enough away to comfortably ignore and remain blissful.

Where are the Philly police

I recently returned to work for a non-profit in Center City Philadelphia. It’s great to be back in the city, it makes me feel more a part of things. Because of the cold, my walk has been limited to about seven blocks. What’s crazy is what I haven’t seen in this time.

It’s been a little more than 3 weeks and I’ve yet to see my first police officer aside from those whizzing by in their cars. Not one policeman or woman walking a beat. No directing of traffic, no standing on the corner making sure there’s no trouble.

It’s not like there isn’t a need – there is a total disregard for traffic laws by drivers, bikers, and pedestrians. There are intersections where blocking the box is the rule. And what happened to the blitz on renegade bicyclists? Seems like it lasted a day. And while they’re at it, there are too many pedestrians that could use a jaywalking ticket. And maybe a visible presence on the streets would prevent the bank robberies that happened downtown recently.

It seems to me that policing shouldn’t be limited to cars, subways, airports, and ghettos. It seems that the Philadelphia Police are only focused on anyone carrying a gun or selling drugs. That’s all well and good, but for the other 99% of situations that deserve their attention, it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves.

Yet another place for me to write

So yesterday I posted that I am writing for the Philadelphia Examiner – it’s about time I mentioned my new blog: Orangeliners.com, a blog about Philly sports.

One thing that I noticed here is that the readership I had cultivated wasn’t as much interested in sports talk, but I wanted to write about it. I figured it would help me to have the two distinct sites. I haven’t quite found my voice there, but I’m hoping to grow that site into an interesting destination covering all Philly sports.

If you’re interested in writing for the site – let me know either through the contact form or leaving a comment here. Kristen will stop in every once in awhile to provide the woman’s point of view. Also would love for to  subscribe to the blog or it’s twitter feed.

Or just stop by and join into the conversation.

70′s era Phillies take another hit: Danny Ozark RIP

Danny OzarkThis has been a tough year for Phillies fans that grew up in the 70′s as I did.  First Harry Kalas and now Danny Ozark.  Ozark was not as beloved as Kalas – he managed the Phils for 7 years and never made the World Series, but without him, the Phillies don’t win the series in 1980. Those teams he had in the 70′s were fun to watch – Cash, Bowa, Maddox, Schmidt, Luzinski, Carlton, Johnstone, McGraw, among others.

No he didn’t win the series, but he set the stage and was part of the most successful stretch in history for the Phillies – from 1976-1983.

Ozark is survived by his wife, Ginny, two children and three grandchildren.

SEPTA needs to move into the 20th century

On my way into Philly to meet some former co-workers for a drink. I’m taking SEPTA public transit and I’ll give them props when deserved but today the deserve complaints. SEPTA charges extra for buying tickets on the train but provides no way to buy tickets ahead of time at most stations. No online e-tickets, no ticket machines, and few ticket counters with decent hours. What’s worse is that SEPTA tickets expire, so you can’t buy a few in advance and just keep them around.

In this day and age, with all the technological advances available this simply makes no sense.

SEPTA – you can do better than this.

Philadelphia Eagles Draft Advice

This is more for the fans than the Eagles.  I’ve been hearing all the fans and media talk about trading our last remaining 1st round pick for Anquan Boldin.  While I would love for Boldin to play for the Eagles, everyone needs to realize there are more pressing concerns.  Brian Westbrook has never been the picture of durability, and he’s turning 30.  If the Eagles have a chance to find a back that can replace him, they absolutely need to do that.  If that means they need to trade up to get Knowshon Moreno or Chris “Beanie” Wells, they need to do that.  If this means they can’t trade for Boldin, then so be it.

Listen to me here: wide receiver is the least important offensive position on the field.  The offensive line, quarterback, and running back are much important to an offense in that order.  I’m including the tight end in the O-line, but if you want to separate it, then yes – WR is more important than TE. Having a top notch WR is gravy and if you’re deficient in any of the other positions, fix those first.  The Eagles can boldly address a huge problem at the RB position, and a Ryan Moats type 2nd round pick ain’t going to do it.

Thank goodness the Eagles rarely listen to the fans and press, don’t start now.