Happy Friday, Philadelphia, and happy holidays to all who will be celebrating this weekend. Be on the lookout for a possibly white Christmas: forecasts say there's a chance of a little snow Sunday night. That has to be good luck for the Eagles, right?
— Aubrey Nagle
Charles Dutoit, conductor laureate of the Philadelphia Orchestra and chief conductor from 2008 to 2012, has been accused of sexual assault by three opera singers and a classical musician, first reported by the Associated Press. He has yet to respond to the allegations and is seeking legal advice.
Dutoit, 81, has performed 650 concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra, last appearing here in March for Britten's War Requiem. The Philadelphia Orchestra Association said in a statement yesterday it was "horrified to learn of the deeply troubling accusations."
Whether the Association would undertake an investigation or revoke Dutoit's laureate conductor title is up for discussion. In the meantime, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony have cut ties with the conductor.
Unfortunately, we're also following another sexual misconduct case this morning. Larry Wittig has resigned from the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, ending his term as chairman there, in the wake of an Inquirer and Daily News story about his past relationships with teenage girls.
A number of women have come forward alleging Wittig, now 68, pursued sexual relationships with them when they were teens and he was their senior, in his 20s and 30s.
Gov. Wolf is seeking a replacement chair for the board. Wittig's also been removed from the president's leadership council at Drexel University and Philadelphia University-Thomas Jefferson University requested his resignation from their board of trustees.
It's been nearly a year since the city instituted its tax on sodas and sugary beverages. Sales of the beverages have decreased and prices have increased. So, what else have we learned?
For one thing, studies on the tax vary depending on who paid for it. For instance, one study says Philadelphia chain store sales haven't suffered — but it was paid for by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has spent millions of dollars advocating for taxes on soda across the country. On the other hand, The American Beverage Association funded a study which says the tax has hurt Philadelphia sales.
Read through this roundup of a year in soda studies and let the facts speak for themselves.
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