Greyhound bus station craziness; Painted Bride sale closes; Phanatic returns triumphant | sunday roundup



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• Philly Councilors + Bribery Fee

After the prosecution concluded its case against Councilor Kenyatta Johnson, who was accused of taking bribes from developers through an advisory contract for his wife, the defense began calling witnesses, including ShopRite owner (and rumored mayoral candidate) Jeff Brown. The testimony is expected to end this week. Just in time for the months-delayed sentencing of former councilor Bobby Henon for his bribery conviction (the sentencing of co-conspirator John Dougherty has been indefinitely postponed). [KYW/Billy Penn/WHYY’s PlanPhilly/Inquirer$/Billy Penn]

• NJ Transit withdraws from Center City

Traffic flow at the bus station stopped in the 10th and Filbert has always been a little cramped. But after a nearby vacant lot was barricaded, Greyhound moved around exits and entrances. NJ Transit says it’s downright unsafe and has taken five routes out of the station and changed their termini from Philly to Camden – a huge inconvenience for many customers. [Inquirer$/WHYY/NJ.com]

• Painted Bride sale finally closes

After a 5-year saga that pitted conservationists against the nonprofit that owned the building and wanted to sell it, a deal was struck for the Painted Bride Art Center in Old City. Atrium Design Group paid $3.85 million for the 3rd and Vine Street property, and will build apartments above it that will maintain the facade by mosaic muralist Isaiah Zagar, source of all the agitation. [WHYY’s PlanPhilly/Biz Journal$/Hidden City]

• Phillies (and Phanatic) return triumphant

In a rivalry with a long history from when both teams were based here, the Phillies took on the Athletics in their season opener – and won! Hard to say which fans are more excited: the return of the original Phanatic after a protracted copyright battle, or the arrival of Manco & Manco’s pizza on the margins, which apparently drew huge lines† [Billy Penn/Billy Penn/42Freeway/@AH_Pod]

Mark Henninger / Imagic Digital

• Council prepares town hall, but probably masks mandate

Philadelphia could become the first major US city to reinstate an indoor mask mandate. Health Ministry policy says this happens when the average COVID case hits the top 100 or rises by 50%, both likely once the latest data is counted. Hospital admissions are lower than two weeks ago, but are starting to stabilize. City Hall was being prepared for a return to Council in-person meetings, Lizzy McLellan Ravitch reports, but that has now been put on hold. [ABC News/Billy Penn/Billy Penn]

• Spotlight on healthcare financing and human services

The city’s budget hearings this week focus on health and human services, with testimony from the Department of Health (down 2.6% from last year), DHS (up 13.6%, as the has to do with a staff shortage at contracted foster care agencies) and Homeless Services (up 1%). Councilor Domb calls on the mayor to help the latter solve Kensington’s opioid crisis by declaring a state of emergency that would lead to federal aid. [PHL Council/Billy Penn/Inquirer$/CBS3]

• Resume Tours at Yards Brewing

Yards Brewing Co is restarting for the first time in two years. tours of its impressive beer facilities (tickets are $10). The city’s oldest continuously operating brewery moved there in 2017, upgrading its old home on Delaware Avenue to a giant taproom on 5th and Spring Garden. [Yards Brewing/Billy Penn]

• Passover parties and Easter parades

Passover starts at the end of the week, and if you’ve been too busy to plan (or just in the mood for chocolate-covered matzah), Denali Sagner looks for last-minute options for dinner-in or take-out Seders around Philadelphia. . The Jewish commemoration of the Exodus falls on Good Friday this year, and Easter celebrations include the return of South Street’s famed Easter Promenade, with extravagant costumes under the expert direction of Henri David. [Billy Penn/WHYY/Billy Penn]

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