Traffic fatalities drop; Partying Phillies advance in playoffs; Neon museum to close | Sunday roundup

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SUMMARY: Looking back on the week that was

• City apologizes for inhumane prison experiments

Philadelphia formally apologized for the Holmesburg Prison experiments conducted by a Penn professor. From the 1950s to the 70s, prisoners were mostly black men deliberately exposed to viruses, fungi, asbestos, and Agent Orange component dioxin. Reports from Penn’s 34th Street magazine prompted the university to apologize last year and revoke the former professor’s honors. [Phila Gov/34th Street/AP]

• Traffic deaths are falling, but stubbornly higher than pre-COVID

Traffic deaths in Philly fell 20% last year from an all-time high in 2020, according to the city’s annual Vision Zero report. However, the rate is still higher than pre-pandemic — second only to Los Angeles among major US cities — and it is worse in neighborhoods with predominantly black and Hispanic residents. Potential Fixes: Better crossroads protectionsmore protected bike lanesand more speed cameras. [PDF/Axios/BP/WHYY x 2]

• Art museum strike extends into second week

Workers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art maintained their strike and urged visitors not to cross the dashed lines that formed daily at the famous stairs. Union members say they are gone without increases for 3 years, and want better health care. Museum management says the upcoming Matisse show will continue — although questions were raised about whether the temporary installers are qualified. A new director, Sasha Sudajust started last month. [NPR/Hyperallergic/Inquirer$/@PMA_Union/WHYY]

• Phillies sweep, advance to playoffs

Ready for a red October? In an upset, the Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals put away last night, winning the Wild Card best-of-3 series and advancing to their first NLDS since 2011. The clubhouse was lit up after the win, with players who walk out “Dancing On My Own” while spraying champagne. “No one is excited to play the Phillies now,” JT Realmuto said. [ESPN/@NBCSPhilly/NBCS Philly]

Bradley Maule

VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead

• Time for postal ballots and drop boxes

If you live in Philly and requested a mail-in ballot for the Nov. 8 election, you can expect it to go out this week, city commissioners told Billy Penn. (You still can apply online to get one, or just register to vote.) Also on tap: drop boxes around the city where you can return your voted ballot – stay tuned for our map. BP’s Procrastinator’s Guide for all the candidates will appear that week. [Pa. Gov/Billy Penn]

• SEPTA rolls out train safety plan, seeks bus feedback

With ridership still down 40% from pre-pandemic, SEPTA is working on ways to bring people back. It is rolling out a new safety plan, building on the increase from 7 to 50 outreach specialists helping people sleeping in the train stations. On the bus side, the agency offers a series of meetings to get feedback on his proposal prune the number of routes for the purpose of faster service. [Fox29/SEPTA/Metro]

• Neon Museum closes, looking for new location

A little less than two years after it opened in Kensington, the Neon Museum of Philadelphia will turn off on December 11. The issue: lack of income – a pandemic has not helped with visits, and the location of the North American street get little foot traffic. The collection, which was compiled by founder Len Davidson over several decades, is now looking for a new home. [Signs of the Times/WHYY/Billy Penn]

• Spookhuis szn is here

The psychedelic and creepy experience of Eastern State at Halloween is hard to top – we said that long before they had an ad in our newsletter; it’s scary in a real prison – but there’s a newcomer with a story similarly based in reality. After suffering major water damage from Ida, the owners of Lincoln Mill in Manayunk turned it into a haunted house with the site of a flooded building. Asha Prihar look behind the scenes. [Billy Penn x 2]

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