Monday, November 30, 2015

Archive: July, 2011

POSTED: Sunday, July 31, 2011, 9:22 PM

James Owens lives on the 1800 block of E. Tioga St., and he has a residential-parking permit that allows him to park for as long as he wants in Permit District #19. So imagine his puzzlement when last Wednesday, July 27, he found a ticket from the Philadelphia Parking Authority placed on the windshield of his Chevy truck, fining him $26 for being parked beyond the 2-hour time limit imposed on non-permitted vehicles.

The crazy thing?

The ticket was placed right on top of the spot where his #19 permit is adhered to his windshield.

POSTED: Friday, July 29, 2011, 6:42 PM
Vanita Young (left) presents a Philly-style chess T-shirt this week to chess master Susan Polgar at the big competition in Lubbock, TX.

A Texas-sized cheer to chess whiz Vanita Young, who just nabbed herself a $40,000 scholarship to Texas Tech University, following her brilliant performance at this week's Susan Polgar Girls' [Chess] Invitational in Lubbock, TX.

GO, Vanita!

Readers of my column will recall that I wrote in June how Vanita, a rising senior at the Walter D. Palmer Charter School, beat out 600 other girls from Pennsylvania to represent the state at the annual invitational, named for Polgar, the world's first female chess grand master. Up for grabs was $120,000 worth of scholarships to the three top winners of the five-day competition, which was to be held July 24-29.

POSTED: Friday, July 29, 2011, 3:44 PM

Lest the Philadelphia Parking Authority think my latest column about the agency proves an anti-PPA bias (I am not anti-PPA; I am against unreasonable and incompetent PPA behavior), I bring you the case of Mike Destefano. The South Philadelphian e-mailed me about a ticket he received yesterday for parking in a "No Parking" spot on the 2200 block of S. 16th S.

The problem, said Mike, is that the pole that would've held the "No Parking" sign no longer exists. It is merely the stub of a pole. To prove his point, he attached a photo of a metal stub. So the $41 ticket, he said, was unfair. How was he to know that the stub indicated a no-parking area?

The more I probed, though, the more it became clear that Destefano was in the wrong. He'd actually parked between the stub, which was at the rear of his Toyota, and another, full-size pole right at the front of his car that clearly reads, "No Parking - Authorized Vehicles Only." An arrow points backward, right to the area where Destefano chose to park his car.

POSTED: Thursday, July 7, 2011, 6:41 PM

I feel so bad for the neighbors of The Arrow Swim Club in Northern liberties, whose trash I wrote about last month, and whose noise I chronicled a few days later.

Now, neighbors must look forward to a "Trophy Wives" party this coming Sunday for which (presumably female) attendees are being offered reduced admission to the club if they bare their boobs.

Combine that with the free cocktails being offered from 2pm to 3pm and, well, it oughta be one classy scene.  

POSTED: Wednesday, July 6, 2011, 3:35 PM

We've all heard - or told  - horror stories about the Philadelphia Parking Authority's inexplicably gleeful abuse of power. But the tale I'll tell in my column tomorrow is so far beyond the pale, it gives "callous," "outrageous" and "cruel" new meaning. Stay tuned.

Meantime, help me count all the ways we loathe the PPA. What are your Top Ten Reasons to Hate the PPA?  I'll excerpt the best ones for tomorrow's paper. 

But first, allow my fabulously witty colleague, Daily News cartoonist and graphic artist extraordinaire Brad Guigar, to kick things off.

About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.

Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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