Philly fails the smog test

The American Lung Association (ALA)’s annual State of the Air report gave the Philadelphia metro area an F for ozone pollution, Philly Mag reports. “For ozone, with the sole exception of Atlantic County, N.J., all monitored counties in the Philadelphia metro area posted worse results than in last year’s report,” the ALA says. The report surveyed 227 metropolitan areas; Philly ranked 12th for year-round particle pollution and 24th in days with high ozone pollution. Philly Mag reports that “after missing an earlier deadline last October, the EPA still has yet to declare whether Philly is in violation of the Clean Air Act.”

As Catalina Jaramillo reported in January, the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in South Philadelphia is the city’s single largest generator of particulate emission air pollution, according to city data. In the refinery’s 19145 zip code, asthma is common among children, and the rates of hospitalization for the ailment are among the highest in the city.

Mayor Jim Kenney has set a goal of reducing city-wide carbon pollution by 80 percent by 2050.   

Broke in Philly

WHYY and PlanPhilly, along with seventeen other local news organizations, have joined forces on a new collaboration called BROKE in Philly. The effort, which launched on Thursday, will bring newsrooms together to produce solutions-oriented reporting about poverty and economic mobility. 

BROKE is led by Resolve Philadelphia, a newly launched nonprofit led by Jean Friedman-Rudovsky, a local journalist who led the Reentry Project in 2017 and will bring a similar approach and many of the same partners to the new initiative.  Look out for stories from our colleagues at PhillyCAM, WURD Radio, Generocity, Billy Penn, and Philadelphia Media Network. The initiative is supported by the Lenfest Institute, Klein College of Media and Communications at Temple, and the Solutions Journalism Network.

So, here we are on Day 2. Let’s not waste any time! What should we cover? Where should we go? Whose stories are under the radar? Are you doing something that we can learn from? Hit us up with your ideas here or text the Broke in Philly team at 215-774-3212.

Sheetz Vs. Wawa: The Movie

A  Pennsylvania documentarian wants to settle things once and for all with the film Sheetz Vs. Wawa about” the beloved convenience store chains and the rivalry that’s developed between their fanatical fan bases,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. 

Before pursuing his documentary, Matthew Fridg, who works for a production company in Pittsburgh (ahem), started with empirical research: by creating a Sheetz Vs. Wawa Facebook page in November, which currently has 8,000 likes. There is also a very straightforward poll. Fridg shared that hardcore fans sent messages about their daily rituals, as well as nuptials, at their favorite convenience store.  He says he hopes to incorporate such stories, along with “the history of the two chains, the culture of each business, and notable employees” in the full-length documentary. For more on obsession, check out Jim Saksa’s piece on the SEPTA’s gift shop.

PSA: Pause on Septa Key sales

SEPTA Key sales and reloads at fare kiosks, online, and over the phone will be suspended for the software maintenance and updates from 9 p.m. Friday, April 20 through 6:30 a.m. Saturday, April 21. The software maintenance and updates work will have no impact on regularly scheduled SEPTA service.

Legacy fare products, including tokens and magnetic stripe passes, will continue to be accepted during this time period. Quick Trips will also be accepted for Market-Frankford and Broad Street Line travel, as long as they are purchased at a station Fare Kiosk before 9 p.m. Friday, SEPTA says.

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