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Date » 2006 » February « Home

Abridged ‘Daily News’ columnists

John Baer: After the pay raise was rescinded by state lawmakers, all the politicians in the Philadelphia area paid it back. Ha ha, just kidding, almost none of them did!

Urban Warrior Chris Brennan: Installing defibrillators in city rec centers would save lives. And now, a quiz: Guess how many defibrillators are installed in city rec centers.

The Stu Bykofsky Comedy Hour: If the city puts up a referendum on whether to have cameras in an attempt to catch criminals, it’ll will probably fail by 90 percent or so. Plus, no city that Byko lives in will have cameras in it, bitches!

Comic relief


The Sunday Inquirer yesterday had a big story about how big name scribes — Stephen King, Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and others — are now doing the writing for comic books.

For these guys, it’s not about making money, it’s just about getting to do a comic book. And that makes sense. Aside from the fantastic Y: The Last Man — the illustration at right — I haven’t read a comic book since about seventh grade, but that doesn’t really matter; if someone asked me to write a comic book I would jump at the chance. It probably has something to do with the fact I can’t draw, but it’d also be effing cool to have written a freakin’ comic book.

Anyway, one of the authors now writing a comic book is from Philly, and he shared his memories with the Inky (emphasis mine):

“Growing up in Philly, I went down to Fat Jack’s on Samson Street every week to buy comics,” says Mat Johnson, 35, the award-winning novelist (Hunting in Harlem) who is writing the Papa Midnite voodoo series for Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics.

Now, you might think that’s an Inquirer copy editing error, but, really, come on: He’s from Philly. He totally calls Sansom Street it “Samson Street.” It’s easier to say, and I think it’s pretty clear that we Philadelphians will pronounce anything however the hell we want. In fact, I’d like to take the time now to praise the Inky for its accuracy.

Comiuc turn [Inky]
Y: The Last Man

Also, it helps to be Donald Trump

022706casino.jpg Late Thursday night, police raided an illegal casino in Port Richmond, called the Philadelphia Players Club.

The casino was so brazen that it advertised on the Internet, which sort of makes me wonder how I was never there before. (I mean, had I known about it I totally would have visited. And my job is browsing the Internet all day! How did I not know about this?)

Anyway, the cops broke up the casino and arrested the proprietors. And they they sure showed them who’s boss:

“This [raid and arrests] is sending a strong message to the community that gambling in this form is illegal,” said Capt. Benjamin Naish, a police spokesman.

Indeed! If you want to open a casino in Port Richmond, you have to already be rich and place a complicated bid proposal and probably schmooze up to some politicians. How dare these people try to run a casino without politicians getting a cut of it!

Port Richmond ‘casino’ goes bust [DN]
Photo by Todd K

This whole war thing just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?

A poll on 6 ABC’s website:


Well. It’s a good thing we’re all optimistic.


Top 5 Will Do

In honor of the fact that we now have video capability here on Philadelphia Will Do (and can, as such, record local newscasters doing stupid stuff, post short clips of them and then laugh about it in my little space online), this week’s Top 5 is five videos we’ve posted this week:

  1. Phillies play-by-play man Harry Kalas also was an announcer for the Puppy Bowl.
  2. Fox 29 gets February sweeps going by doing the police’s job.
  3. Action News warns us that small expensive objects could be stolen. Hide your gold dubloons.
  4. William Devlin tries stand-up comedy, fails miserably.
  5. NBC 10’s Bill Henley tells Miss America she has a nice box.

And, of course, there was a sixth: The Good Day Philadelphia anchors dancing with a blue hen. Have a good weekend!

Blogicized: Ride or die

• Yay! Ecstasy doesn’t make you depressed! It does have the unfortunate side effect of usually making you look like a total jackass, but, hey. [The Trouble With Spikol]

• Philadelphia photobloggers Brad of Phillyskyline and Mark of All Proper had an opening for their show at Day by Day last night. It’s fantastic, you should check it out.

• When your house is hit by a car twice in a year, it might be time to move. Stay away from the infield at Daytona when picking a new place to live, too. [Metroblogging Philadelphia]

• Ladies and gentlemen, a guy who’s both nerdier and cooler than all of us. Enjoy. [Joystiq]

Fighting fire with fire


What makes you say that, Ms. President?

Council to debate fireworks store [Bucks County Courier Times]

Is it REALLY a protest without a giant rat?

Outside at lunch, in front of the clothespin:


Wow. Now Comcast is just flaunting it. Pays to be the biggest, I guess.

Everybody hates Chris

022406kalas.jpg There are a lot of things Phillies fans disagree on. For example, some people don’t think Bobby Abreu is good. (They’re wrong, of course, but that’s a discussion for another time.) But there is one thing all Phillies fans can agree on: Harry Kalas is awesome, and Chris Wheeler sucks.

I don’t really dislike Wheeler all that much — I don’t think he reaches the levels of announcer annoyance of Joe Morgan or the old Sunday Night ESPN crew — but I don’t know anyone who really enjoys his announcing. Some people think he’s too negative; some people think he’s too positive. Bill Conlin said he hasn’t gotten any positive emails about Wheels. Not to turn this into a Bill Simmons column, but my buddy Tim said he got a reply from DN writer Paul Hagen saying he had gotten deluged with email bashing Wheeler. And check out the comments on Jason Weitzel’s post over at Beerleaguer. In reality, Wheeler can’t win.

Harry Kalas, on the other hand, is beloved by all. Sure, he’s not as good as he used to be, but, man, what a voice! (He also does NFL highlights during the fall.) And when an announcer has been with a team for so long, you sort of have to keep him there and let him do what he wants.

After last year’s dwindling attendance, the Phillies hired former Action News reporter Scott Palmer to act as an ombudsman between the fans and team management, hoping he could iron out any problems. And then earlier this month, Palmer was officially named director of media and public affairs.

And what is his first fan-pleasing job? To figure out how to solve the tentative announcing lineup which has pissed off fans from Broad and Pattison to Scranton. The new lineup? Harry the K on TV in the first through third and seventh through ninth innings. Larry Anderson only on radio. Chris Wheeler on television all nine innings.

Yikes. Good luck with all that, Scott.

And if he can’t figure out a way to make this work and Harry leaves after this year, it’s okay. We’ll still have Harry doing announcing work on things even more important than the Phillies:

Yes, that’s Harry Kalas announcing Puppy Bowl II.

Kalas outta here? [DN]
Bill Conlin | Still wild about Harry (Kalas) [DN]
Harry in the headlines [Beerleaguer]

Quickies: EL on Earth

• You saw the preview yesterday. Here’s the rest of Inga Saffron’s column about the new EL stops. [Inky]

• About six hundred kids were out sick in a New Jersey school. Sounds like there’s a huge outbreak of cooties. [NBC 10]

• No. 2 ‘Nova edged Cincinnati last night on a sweet inbounds pass layup in the final seconds. They’re at 24-2 UConn on Sunday. [Inky]

• And, finally, girls pledging a sorority at Penn are being attacked for their lunchboxes. Police suspect Yogi Bear has moved on from pic-i-nic baskets at long last. [Daily Pennsylvanian]