SEPTA Key Early Adopters program to expand starting Monday, Aug. 1

Posted on 29 July 2016

Septakey1SEPTA riders who wanted to test the new SEPTA Key Fare card but didn’t get a chance to purchase it in June when the Early Adopters program was launched, will have another chance very soon. The SEPTA Key Early Adopters Program will begin expanding on Monday, Aug. 1, with two major sales offices offering a limited number of Key Cards loaded with Weekly or Monthly TransPasses. The expansion will continue through September, with more sales locations and station kiosks for reloading passes added each week.

Some 10,000 passes were offered for sale at fare kiosks inside stations along the Market-Frankford starting June 13 and Broad Street Lines and sold out by the end of June.

Starting Aug. 1, Weekly and Monthly TransPasses loaded on Key Cards will be sold at SEPTA Sales Offices located at 15th Street Station and SEPTA Headquarters at 1234 Market Street. Then, starting Monday, Aug. 8, SEPTA will expand sales and reloading of Weekly and Monthly TransPasses to sales offices at major transit terminals. Additional station kiosks will be available only for reloading of Weekly or Monthly TranPasses. The full rollout schedule is posted online at

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Early Adopters program does not eliminate tokens, which will still be in use for single trips.

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Shakespeare in Clark Park opens

Posted on 28 July 2016


Shakespeare in Clark Park opened last night in front of its customary large crowd. This year the performance, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, is being staged on the south end of the bowl and includes window frames and chandeliers hanging in the trees, a high-spirited cast and lively jazz sextet.

Performances are every night through Sunday, July 31 beginning at 7 p.m. If it rains, the whole thing moves to University of the Sciences (Main Dining Hall, 600 S. 43rd St.).

(Photos by Mike Lyons/West Philly Local)

Continue Reading

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Remembering a murder that changed West Philadelphia forever and the forgiveness that followed

Posted on 27 July 2016

A murder nearly 60 years ago that still casts a long shadow over neighborhoods around the University of Pennsylvania today will be remembered Friday when the 3600 block of Hamilton Street in Powelton Village, will be named “In-Ho Oh Memorial Way” in a special ceremony.

In-Ho Oh was a 26-year-old Penn graduate student who was beaten to death by a group of nearly a dozen young men and boys on his way to drop a letter in a mailbox at about 9 p.m. near 36th and Hamilton on April 25, 1958. The murder exacerbated racial tensions in the city and became national news. Oh lived with his aunt and uncle in a small apartment at 36th and Hamilton and planned to return to Korea and his family after his studies at Penn.

Law enforcement’s reaction was swift and severe. Nine people were charged with murder, many juveniles, and prosecutors pushed for the death penalty. In the end, five were sentenced to terms ranging from life in prison to 10 years.  Continue Reading

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Shakespeare, Parks On Tap this week in Clark Park

Posted on 26 July 2016


The Two Gentlemen of Verona: David Glover as Valentine (left), and Jake Blouch as Proteus; and Maria Konstantinidis as Silvia. (Photo by Kyle Cassidy)

Here’s a reminder of one of the most popular summer events this side of the Schuylkill – Shakespeare in Clark Park (SCP) will return this Wednesday with five outdoor shows. The company will present the romantic comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona in the park’s “Bowl” at 45th and Chester on July 27 – 31. Shows begin at 7 p.m. All SCP performances are free and open to the public (but consider bringing a few bucks for donation since this helps them immensely).


Photo by West Philly Local

This year’s production is directed by Kathryn MacMillan and features some of Philadelphia’s finest actors and a troupe of community swing dancers (SCP is partnering with Lindy and Blues, an all volunteer organization). Music is by Suburban Jazz Quintet.

In the case of rain, performances will be held at the Main Dining Hall, University of the Sciences, 600 S. 43rd St.

In addition to the theatre, a number of special events will take place this week in conjunction with SCP, including a Friendly Dog Night at Clark Park on Friday, July 29 (co-sponsored by the SPCA and Baltimore Pet Shoppe), Clarkville Call Ahead Dinner Package + Opening Night Party, and Parks on Tap (local craft beers will be served in the park this Wednesday through Sunday, as well as mojitos and white wine).

For more information on this year’s production and special events, click here.

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Teen carjackers slam into cars near 48th and Springfield

Posted on 26 July 2016


A stolen car with two armed teenagers inside crashed into several parked cars near 48th and Springfield overnight, according to reports. Police say the teens stole the car in South Philadelphia shortly after midnight and drove around in it for a while before they slammed into cars parked along the 4800 block of Springfield Avenue. Police spotted the car earlier in Southwest Philly but decided not to pursue it because they deemed it too dangerous.

“We believe these kids probably don’t have a license to drive,” Lt. John Walker of the Southwest Detectives Division told NBC News.

After running into the parked cars, the teens fled on foot. One of them reportedly has a head injury. No one else was hurt, according to police. Police found two guns in the stolen vehicle.

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30th Street Station to greet DNC attendees with light show

Posted on 22 July 2016


A patriotic lighting installation will greet the thousands of people expected to visit 30th Street Station before, during and after the four-day Democratic National Convention (July 25-28). The programmable system of color-changing LED fixtures will sweep stars and swaths of red, white and blue across the station’s 29th Street facade.

This light show is sponsored by Amtrak and the University City District and is one of several across the city to welcome DNC attendees.

The lights will be projected onto the station’s 29th Street facade from 8:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m. every night through July 31.

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Mind the gap (and the orange cones)

Posted on 22 July 2016

Car in ditch

There’s a lot of road construction going out there right now. That means the occasional closed street and detour – and lots of orange cones. This driver found out what can happen if you ignore the cones along 45th Street near Walnut, where crews are replacing pipes.


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Cosplay life drawing this weekend at The Rotunda (free event)

Posted on 21 July 2016


Here’s a fun and free event this weekend that the organizers are hoping will help bring the community together. Two nights of cosplay life drawing will take place on Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24 at 7-10 p.m. in one of West Philly’s most well-known venues – The Rotunda (40th and Walnut). Any drawing level is welcome from beginner to maestro. You can bring your own supplies or use the ones provided by the organizers.

Two models in cosplay each night! There will be music provided by WKDU 91.7, projections, and props.

NUMiNOUS Magazine, a publication that focuses on Cosplay, will be there exhibiting on Saturday night.

The event is co-hosted by 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program, Cosplay Life Drawing Club, and the organizers of the Philly Zine Fest.

Tips for models are appreciated but not necessary.

For more information check out:

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Historic Chestnut St. rowhomes saved from demolition… for now

Posted on 21 July 2016


Google Street View image of 4046-4048 Chestnut Street rowhomes.

The twin apartment buildings at 4046-4048 Chestnut Street, which date back to the late 19th century, were saved at least temporarily after a municipal court judge issued a ruling yesterday barring demolition until mid-October.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Linda Carpenter’s decision found the demolition permit issued in March to a developer that sought to knock the buildings down and build student housing was invalid. The stay of demolition is until October 15, according to Plan Philly.

The final decision on demolition hinges on two more decisions. The first will be a likely appeal of Carpenter’s ruling that the permit is invalid and second will be a hearing at the Philadelphia Historic Commission to determine whether the buildings should be added to Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, which would make demolition far more difficult.

The buildings were sold on March 1 to a new owner who planned to replace them with new apartment buildings aimed at students. A demolition permit was issued later that month, but an application to declare the building “historic” was made on May 16 in an effort to save the buildings.

The hearing to determine whether the rowhomes can be demolished according to their developers’ plans was held last month and resulted in the decision issued yesterday.

For more in-depth coverage of the case and a copy of Judge Carpenter’s ruling, check out the Plan Philly story.

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Young man shot by an older man inside donut shop at 40th and Lancaster

Posted on 20 July 2016


Police have released surveillance video of a recent shooting at a donut shop at 40th and Lancaster and are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the shooter in the video. Police say an unknown male approached Fresh and Tasty Donuts at 4096 Lancaster Avenue on Sunday, July 17, at 7 a.m., and fired several shots through the glass door at the victim, a 20-year-old man, who was inside the shop. The shooter then quickly fled the area, according to police.

The victim was shot three times in the groin and was transported to Presbyterian hospital. He is expected to survive.

The suspect is described as black male, 45-50 years old, five feet eight inches tall, 180lbs, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, and armed with a handgun.  Continue Reading

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West Philly through the eyes of local band Post Sun Times (including Omar with a GoPro)

Posted on 20 July 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 11.20.03 AM

A screen shot from the video for “West Philly Jawn” by Post Sun Times.

West Philly means a lot of things to a lot of people. We get a chance to see what it means to members of the band Post Sun Times in the video for their song “West Philly Jawn” posted on Tuesday.

In an interview with the Philly music magazine Jump, singer/guitarist Robin Carine noted that the band members grew up in North Jersey and that he himself has lived in West Philly since 2009.

The video includes a riff with Mike Fuller, the trolley poet, and few seconds of the world through Omar‘s eyes.  Continue Reading

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City pursuing firm that owns Supreme Shop n Bag land for back taxes

Posted on 19 July 2016

The City of Philadelphia has taken the landowners of 4301 Walnut Street, where the Supreme Shop n Bag is located, to court to pay more than $158,000 in property taxes.

The city filed a “sequestration” case against Gladwynne-based EFBEE Associates, owners of the property, in municipal court on July 11. The School District of Philadelphia, which would receive much of the taxes collected, is also named as a plaintiff (see the file below). A sequestration hearing is typically the last resort on commercial properties owing back taxes on the 66,000-square-foot parcel and will likely result in the garnishing of rental income – so Supreme will pay the city its rent instead of the landowner – until the back taxes are paid.

EFBEE has 20 days to respond to the sequestration order.  Continue Reading

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Row home fire on 5200 block of Larchwood

Posted on 18 July 2016


Firefighters at the scene of fire on the 5200 block of Larchwood Ave. (Twitter photo @a_butler)

A serious fire broke out this evening in a two-story vacant row home on the 5200 block of Larchwood Avenue. The fire began shortly before 5 p.m. and was put out after about 18 minutes, according to

No people were found inside the building and no injuries were reported.


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Summer in West Philly: lots more things still to come

Posted on 18 July 2016


We hope you’re enjoying your summer in West Philly despite the heat. A lot of great events are still coming up, so here’s a reminder for our readers of what is scheduled for the rest of this month.

• University City Dining Days will continue through Sunday, July 24.

• On Saturday, July 23, Dendê & Band will bring Afro-Brazilian rhythms to 40th and Walnut, as part of the 40th Street Summer Series.

• Shakespeare in Clark Park will present The Two Gentlemen of Verona, July 27 – 31. Parks on Tap will also make a stop in Clark Park.  Continue Reading

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Trolley tunnel closes at 10 p.m. Friday, reopens Monday morning

Posted on 15 July 2016

The trolley tunnel will close down tonight at 10 p.m. and reopen at 5 a.m. on Monday, SEPTA has announced. The closure is due to maintenance of overhead wires and will impact all routes.

Routes 11, 13, 34, and 36 will divert to 40th and Market Streets and Route 10 will divert to 40th and Filbert Streets.

This closure is not related to the annual “Tunnel Blitz,” which was recently postponed due to the recent problems with Septa’s Regional Rail cars.


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Van carrying children crashes into building at 52nd and Hazel (updated)

Posted on 15 July 2016


The scene on the west side of 52nd Street near Hazel (Photo West Philly Local)

Twelve children were hospitalized after a day care van crashed into an building at 52nd and Hazel Friday morning. The incident was reported at around 9:30 a.m. Children and the driver of an unmarked van were taken to area hospitals for observation, according to reports. Police said the children were not hurt, and the driver was in stable condition.

Reportedly, the driver experienced problems with the brakes before the crash. The investigation continues. Detours are expected in the area.


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Free outdoor movie night at Lea School this Friday

Posted on 14 July 2016

Walnut Hill Community Association is inviting families this Friday (July 15) to a free outdoor movie night which will be held at the newly upgraded Lea School Yard (47th and Locust). Popular new flick Zootopia will be screened beginning at 8 p.m. (rain date is Friday, July 22, 8 p.m.). Please bring your own beverages and snacks and also chairs or blankets (adult supervision is recommended).

There will be another movie night at Lea School – on August 12 at 8 p.m. For more information on this and other community events, please check the Walnut Hill Community Association website.


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10th Annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz Festival to celebrate Women in Jazz

Posted on 14 July 2016

LancasterAvejazzThe annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz Festival returns on Saturday, July 16 to Powelton Village. This year’s festival, which runs from noon to 7 p.m. in Penn Presbyterian Saunders Park Greene (39th and Powelton), celebrates women in jazz and features a mix of dynamite artists.

A renowned pianist and composer with Philadelphia roots, Sumi Tonooka, will headline the festival and will also present a master class performance with local youth on Friday (see more info below). Also performing on the Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival stage are saxophonist Nzinga Banks, poet and vocalist Pheralyn Dove, vocalist Laurin Talese, trumpeter Dr. Diane Lyle-Smith, guitarist Monnette Sudler, 12 year old Alesandra Pollack, a vocal artist and pianist, and the popular jazz, R&B and soul-spirited Charlene Holloway Band. The Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble will also be back by popular demand.


Sumi Tonooka

The Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival is a FREE family-friendly event showcasing the best of Philadelphia: it features some of the best musicians, a diverse gathering of people, a view of the city and a chance to enjoy a neighborhood that is rich in arts and culture. The festival has grown from a few hundred attendees to more than 3,000!

Artisans and vendors along with a variety of specialty food trucks will be on site. Activities such as a moon bounce, face painting, community resources and digital pop-up computer lab will be available for everyone’s enjoyment. Free parking is available one block away at Penn Presbyterian’s lot at Powelton Avenue and State Street.  Continue Reading

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Black Orchid Foods co-owner hurt in house fire

Posted on 13 July 2016

We’re sad to report that Robyn Biv, co-owner of Black Orchid Foods (Facebook page), the West Philly vegetarian and vegan catering service, was recently hurt in a house fire.

A fire erupted in her home near 51st and Kingsessing that destroyed her kitchen – where her business is based. Robyn suffered burns and was hospitalized. She has made a huge impact on the Kingsessing area by feeding many people for free or using a “sliding scale” with dietary restrictions always in mind. Some of you may have also tried the food served by Black Orchid at the most recent edition of Go West! Craft Fest.

While Robyn is recovering in the hospital from burns to her face, eyes, arms and hands, her friends set up a GoFundMe page to help her with some expenses.

Please follow this link if you would like to donate and support Robyn with your messages:

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