News Roundup June 17, 2016


Soda tax passes; Philadelphia is first big city in nation to enact one

Looking to raise millions for a bold expansion of early childhood education, Philadelphia City Council on Thursday approved a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened and diet beverages, the first such tax imposed in a major U.S. city.

The 13-4 vote put to bed months of speculation and at-times-bitter negotiations, but also ensured that the national spotlight will stay turned on Philadelphia for months, if not years. Read more.

Confederate flag taken down at Pa. Capitol

A Confederate flag that had been hanging inside the Capitol as part of a historical exhibit was taken down Wednesday after objections from a state representative from Philadelphia, officials said.

Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown (D., Phila.) initially took the flag down herself late Tuesday and turned it in to House Speaker Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny), who gave it to Capitol police, legislative officials said. Read more.

Cooperation emerges when groups are small and memories are long, study finds

The tragedy of the commons, a concept described by ecologist Garrett Hardin, paints a grim view of human nature. The theory goes that, if a resource is shared, individuals will act in their own self-interest, but against the interest of the group, by depleting that resource.

Yet examples of cooperation and sharing abound in nature, from human societies down to single-celled bacteria. Read more.

The Philadelphia and Knight foundations are funding a youth news team during the DNC

A new partnership between the School District, media partners and some big-name funders will aim to elevate student voices during the Democratic National Convention next month.

Middle and high schoolers will have the opportunity to join a youth news team covering the DNC and develop their own written, audio and visual stories while learning journalism skills from media professionals. Read more.

Tony’s Barber Shop building on Baltimore Ave. for sale

The building at 4529 Baltimore Avenue that used to host Tony’s “Just For Men” Barber Shop has recently been listed for sale for $415,000. The 1,760 square feet property includes a ground-floor commercial space, a partially finished basement, and two apartments (a large two-bedroom with a deck and a studio on the ground floor behind the commercial space). It is zoned CMX-2 (Commercial/Commercial Mixed-Use). Read more.

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