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Tangle Movement Arts to present new aerial show this Thursday in Clark Park

Posted on 26 May 2015

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Tangle Movement Arts, a West Philly-based acrobatics company known to many by their Tiny Circus performances at Go West! Craft Fest at The Woodlands and other venues, is bringing an all-new, free and family-friendly show, Intersections, to Clark Park this Thursday.

TangleArts2Intersections celebrates the broad communities that gather in the park and the dynamics of daily life. The acrobats will be disguised as normal visitors to the Clark Park Farmers Market, from vegetable shoppers to playground-visiting children to commuters on their way home. The show also celebrates the chance meetings that happen in our public spaces.

Tangle Movement Arts is a circus arts company with an interdisciplinary focus; its work integrates traditional circus like aerial acrobatics with dance, theater, and live music, with an emphasis on queer and female experiences. Tangle has been thrilling audiences with dynamic circus-theater since its inception in 2011.

Intersections premieres at the park near 43rd and Baltimore on Thursday, May 28 at 6 p.m. (rain date Thursday, June 4). The show is part of the City of Philadelphia’s Performances in Public Spaces program, managed by the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.

(Photos courtesy of Tangle Movement Arts)

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Latest robbery reports; burglaries “definitely an issue,” say police

Posted on 26 May 2015

Police have released some details on a few robberies that took place in the area last week.

Two teenagers were arrested for an attempted mid-day robbery on May 20 on the 4200 block of Pine Street. The incident happened at around 2 p.m. when the suspects, 16 and 18 years old, walked by a 25-year-old man, then stopped and attempted to rob him. The man resisted and the suspects ran off, according to police. They were caught a few blocks away. No injuries were reported.

A gunpoint robbery took place on May 22 at around 11 p.m. on the 4900 block of Spruce Street. Police say a young man ran from behind a 26-year-old woman, who was on her way home from work, and cut her off. He then pointed a small black gun with two barrels at her and demanded her bag. He also took the woman’s phone from her pants pocket. After robbing the woman the man and another male who was on a bike fled north on 49th Street, according to police. The woman wasn’t injured.

Also on May 22, a 19-year-old male was arrested at 52nd and Kingsessing after robbing a 22-year-old woman. The robbery took place shortly after 10 p.m. on the 4600 block of Chester Avenue when the suspect approached the woman and robbed her of her pocketbook which contained several items. The man fled the scene on a bike. Police recovered the victim’s phone.

There have also been several burglaries in the area in the last two weeks, and a police source says that burglaries “are definitely an issue right now.” We’re trying to get more information. See the map below (source: Crimereports.com) for the reports of robberies and burglaries from May 12 to May 26, 2015.

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Memorial Day flags at The Woodlands

Posted on 25 May 2015

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A good way to get down to what Memorial Day is really about is to take a quiet stroll through The Woodlands today. Over the weekend flags were placed at the dozens and dozens of soldiers’ gravestones, some of which date back to the Revolutionary War (Photo by West Philly Local).

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Vendor opportunities at West Philly arts festival, flea market

Posted on 22 May 2015

Here are a couple of nice opportunities for local artists and artisans, businesses and non-profit organizations. Vendors are sought for the upcoming West Philly Flea Market (May 30) and West Park Arts Festival (June 13).

Here is more information from the organizers:

flea markerPhiladelphia vendors are invited to sell at West Philly Flea Market, held outdoors in the parking lot of West Catholic Prep High School at 46th and Chestnut Streets on May 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Spaces may be rented for $15 for a single space (16.5’ x 14’) or $25 for a double space (33’ X 14’). Vendors must supply their own tables and displays. To reserve a space, go to http://www.citychurchphilly.com/fleamarket. Vendor registration deadline is May 27. Walk-ins taken as space allows.

westparkartsVendors are invited for West Park Arts Festival to be held on Saturday, June 13, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in Fairmount Park at 4021 Parkside Avenue (on the campus of the School of The Future). Arts & Craft vendor spaces are $40, direct sellers and non handmade items – $60.00, corporate vendors – $200 per space, food vendors – $100 per space (food spaces are limited). The festival organizers are looking for culturally diverse food (Chinese, Thai, Mexican, etc.), as well as vegetarian and sweets. For more information or to apply please visit www.westparkcultural.org/westparkartsfest. If you need further assistance, feel free to email info@westparkcultural.org

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SRC approves new charter school for West Philly

Posted on 22 May 2015

The School Reform Commission last night approved the revised proposal for a K-4 KIPP charter school in West Philadelphia.

KIPP’s original application, which called for a K-12 school serving more than 1,300 students was rejected in February along with more than 30 other applications for new charters. Only five were approved. KIPP revised the application to change school governance structure, teacher qualifications, opening date and its location. Originally proposed for the Kingsessing neighborhood, the new school will be located in Parkside.

The SRC approved the revised application 3-1. Chairwoman Marjorie Neff voted against the proposal and Commissioner Farrah Jimenez recused herself from the vote because of a possible conflict of interest.  Continue Reading

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Residents, business owners vow to save historic Powelton Village block from demolition

Posted on 21 May 2015

It was standing room only last night as residents and business owners discussed the future of the 3600 block of Lancaster Avenue, one of the signature blocks in the Powelton Village neighborhood.

It was standing room only last night at the Community Education Center as residents and business owners discussed the future of the 3600 block of Lancaster Avenue, one of the signature blocks in the Powelton Village neighborhood (photo by West Philly Local).

Residents and business owners met in the Powelton Village neighborhood last night and vowed to take a stand against the possible demolition of the 3600 block of Lancaster Ave., a historic commercial block that stands in the shadows of glassy high rises encroaching on the neighborhood.

Known as the Lancaster Mews and built in the 1870s, the block of ground floor commercial and upstairs apartments on the south side of Lancaster Ave. is the latest neighborhood symbol of angst over rapidly increasing development in the neighborhood. The Powelton Village Civic Association (PVCA) has tried to stave off the rumored demolition of the block by having it added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

The PVCA filed the application after it became known that AP Construction, which owns the block, reportedly began interviewing demolition firms.

“The threat of demolition was imminent,” Powelton Village Civic Association zoning chair George Poulin told the standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 people gathered at the Community Education Center last night. “We feel really really threatened by what we are seeing in the neighborhood.”  Continue Reading

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After years on Penn’s campus, Neighborhood Bike Works to open new hub on Lancaster Avenue

Posted on 21 May 2015

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Neighborhood Bike Works is moving! (Photo from NBW Facebook page).

Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW), a great neighborhood institution that has been providing bike education programs for youth and bike repair classes for adults for nearly two decades, has just announced its plans to open a new, larger hub and community shop in West Philly this Fall. The new site is located at two side-by-side storefront properties – at 3939 and 3943 Lancaster Avenue. It is one mile from NBW’s current headquarters in the basement of St. Mary’s Church on Locust Walk.

“By moving out of a basement space to a highly visible, street-level site, we hope more families will find us and get involved in our programs,” NBW Executive Director Erin DeCou said in a statement.

A larger space on Lancaster Ave will offer more flexibility and an opportunity for NBW to operate more than one class or event at a time. Located at the intersection of the Mantua, Belmont, and Powelton neighborhoods, the new headquarters will also allow NBW to be closer to more of the communities they serve.  Continue Reading

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Community meeting tonight about future of 3600 block of Lancaster Ave

Posted on 20 May 2015

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Lancaster Mews (photo from Lancastermewsapts.com).

Neighbors and all interested parties are invited this evening to learn more about the proposed demolition of Lancaster Mews, the redbrick apartment buildings and storefronts on the 3600 block of Lancaster Avenue, and discuss the future development of the block. This is a great opportunity to share your concerns about the proposed development. The meeting is hosted by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and will take place starting at 6 p.m. at Community Education Center’s Meeting House Theatre (3500 Lancaster Ave).

In addition to apartments, Lancaster Mews also houses several businesses and a day care center. According to an article by The Philadelphia Inquirer published earlier this month, the block-long row of houses built in the late 1870’s may be demolished and replaced by apartment buildings aimed mostly at students.

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You lookin’ at me? Bartram’s Garden turkey challenges its reflection

Posted on 19 May 2015

This funny video of a male turkey challenging its reflection in a window was recently filmed at Bartram’s Garden. This is a great time of the year to spend more time at the garden, located at 54th St. and Lindbergh Blvd. (you can drive, bike or hop on the #36 Trolley) whether it is bird watching, nature walks or special events. Go to Bartramsgarden.org for more information.

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Election Day! Get out there and vote

Posted on 19 May 2015

vote-symbolThe polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for today’s citywide primaries, the most important election of the year. Party nominations for Mayor, all 17 City Council and a bunch of judgeships seats are up for grabs.

All 17 City Council seats are on the ballot. Jannie Blackwell is running unopposed in District 3, which covers much of West and Southwest Philadelphia. Some 16 Democratic (including Spruce Hill resident Paul Steinke) and seven Republican candidates (including Spruce Hill resident Matt Wolfe) are running for at-large seats in today’s primary.

Other offices on the ballot include City Commissioner, Supreme Court, Superior Court, Commonwealth Court, Court of Common Pleas, Municipal CourtSheriff and Register of Wills.

Today’s ballot also includes four questions open to any registered voter regardless of party affiliation. One question, a non-binding referendum, asks whether the School Reform Commission should be abolished and local control of the city schools should be restored.

The Committee of 70 has tons of info on today’s election. Go here for a complete rundown on all of the candidates. Go here if you need to find your polling place.

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Ride of Silence honoring killed or injured bicyclists on Wednesday

Posted on 18 May 2015

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Photo from bicyclecoalition.org

Philly bicyclists will get together this Wednesday (May 20) for the Ride of Silence, the annual international event that honors the cyclists killed or injured by motorists. The ride also raises awareness of cyclists’s right to share the road.

The 8-mile ride will start at 7 p.m. at the foot of the front steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum and will go through parts of West Philadelphia before returning to the starting point. A brief pre-ride dedication ceremony will begin at 6:45 p.m.

Last year about 175 bicyclists participated in the ride and this year the organizers are hoping to attract at least 400 riders.

Here are more details about the Ride of Silence route from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia:

From the Philadelphia Art Museum the ride will proceed down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, circle City Hall, continue to Independence Hall, and head over to West Philly via the Walnut St. Bridge. The ride will return to the front of the Art Museum over the Spring Garden Street Bridge.

Riders are asked to gather at 6:30 p.m. The duration of the ride is expected to be one hour. Helmets are required and bicycle lights are encouraged.

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Overcoming illness, breakdowns and lost bags in Ohio, Minor Threats chess team brings home some metal

Posted on 18 May 2015

Minor Threats Chess Club’s coach, Jason Bui, sent us an update on the latest achievements by his students, who recently returned from the Elementary National Championships in Nashville, Tenn. and also participated in other chess championships this spring. We wrote about the club and its fundraising efforts earlier this year. The Minor Threats Chess Club is based at Mitchell Elementary School and its members are West Philly schoolchildren in grades 3 through 8.

It has been a loooong month for the Minor Threats Chess Club. We spent a total of 16 out of 32 days on the road from April to May. We had three very long bus rides. We had our bags lost in Ohio (don’t worry, we got them back). We broke down along the side of the turnpike on the way back from Louisville (everyone got home safe and sound). We had sick kids and parents. The kids never complained.

Syair was sick on Sunday in Nashville. He threw up before his first round. He went in and won and then came out and still couldn’t eat, took a nap, went in and won the last round of the day. He won his first Nationals trophy that weekend.

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Derrick Moore, a 4th grader at Mitchell Elementary School, with a trophy. (Photo courtesy of Minor Threats Chess Club)

Junior High Nationals was Derrick’s first Nationals. He won his first individual trophy there.

The Philadelphia Chess Society (our super group consisting of Paul Robeson Chess Club, Minor Threats Chess Club, and Enon Connected Pawns) won 7 trophies at Elementary Nationals. Not bad for only having 13 kids playing.

These trips are amazing opportunities for our kids. They learn so much about the world, chess, and themselves. They get to see that there is a whole big world out there. They get to see that if they are brave and they are willing to work hard that nothing can hold them back.

I would not be able to take these kids on these trips without the support of people like you. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

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New car for Red Paw Relief Team presented near Windermere fire site

Posted on 15 May 2015

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A Red Paw Emergency Relief Team volunteer and rescued dog posing near the donated car. (Photo by West Philly Local).

Here’s some great news for a great local organization that has helped save lives of hundreds of our little friends and companions since its inception in 2011. Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, a non-profit that responds to fires and other disasters in the city and helps displaced pets, has just received a new vehicle, which will allow them to continue their important work, since their old car started breaking down too often. The new car was donated by NRG Home.

red paw3The new vehicle was presented to Red Paw’s staff and volunteers, including the founder and former firefighter Jennifer Leary, this afternoon near the corner of 48th and Walnut Streets, across the street from the empty lot where the Windermere Court Apartments building once stood. Red Paw was created in the aftermath of the devastating fire at Windermere in January 2011. Many pets remained trapped inside the heavily damaged and structurally unstable building for weeks after the fire, which prompted rescue efforts by local pet rescue organizations.

Jennifer Leary was one of the firefighters responding to the Windermere fire. She founded Red Paw in July 2011.

 

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Clark and Cedar Parks will be lively this weekend

Posted on 14 May 2015

ClarkParkchairThere is something about eating a meal in the park. Food just seems to taste better outdoors, on a blanket. You can put that theory to test on Friday (May 15) at the third annual Picnic in Cedar Park. The picnicking proper runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can BYOP (Bring Your Own Picnic) or you can grab a picnic special at these businesses along Baltimore Avenue: The Gold Standard, Dock Street, Hibiscus, Little Baby’s, Mariposa, Penn Pizza or Taco Angeleno and Fresh Deli. Here is the Facebook page for the event.

The park a few blocks east on Baltimore will be jumping on Saturday (May 16). The annual Party in Clark Park runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will feature live music, games for kids, food and a beer garden. The Four Prophet String Band and The Extraordinaires will provide the music and Dock Street will provide the beer. More details are available at The Friends of Clark Park website.

 

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Old paint, cleaning supplies, even light bulbs: Get rid of household hazardous waste this Saturday

Posted on 14 May 2015

hazardous_waste_caution_sign_2__58561If you have some unwanted toxic or hazardous items or materials in your house or garage, here’s a great chance to dispose of them safely. On Saturday, May 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Philadelphia Streets Department’s Sanitation Division will be holding a free household hazardous waste collection event at the 1st District Highway Yard, 4800 Parkside Avenue.

The following materials and items are considered hazardous and will be accepted at this event:

• Paint and paint related materials, including solvent-based paints and stains, paint thinner, varnish, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, swimming pool chemicals.

• Kitchen, bathroom products and cleaning solvents;

• Automotive products, including used motor oil, antifreeze, lead-acid batteries, brake fluid, degreasers;

• Flammable materials (kerosene, old gasoline);  Continue Reading

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Does your employer know that paid sick leave goes into effect today?

Posted on 13 May 2015

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Staff and volunteers from PA Working Families (Facebook page) were at 52nd Street Station this morning to distribute information to commuters about recently passed local legislation on paid sick leave.

Starting today (Wednesday, May 13), those working more than 40 hours per year in Philadelphia for companies of 10 employees or more will begin accruing paid sick leave time. Here is an informative poster about the new legislation. You can also visit the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces’ Website for more information. (Photos courtesy of PA Working Families).

The law passed in February and caps sick time at five eight-hour days per year and is accrued at a rate of one hour per 40 hours worked.

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The Hacktory continues to inspire innovation in West Philly

Posted on 12 May 2015

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Those walking by the Science Center building on 37th and Market street can see colorful displays on the first floor windows, but little do most know that those colorful displays belong to an innovation tech camp called The Hacktory. The name was created to describe two goals the group set out to accomplish: find solutions and create products.

An early inception of the organization was created in 2007, which met on a monthly basis to celebrate do-it-yourself efforts in engineering and technology. Georgia Guthrie, The Hacktory’s executive director, began volunteering with the group right before it ran out of steam in 2009 but she was determined to keep it going in some sort of capacity.

Today, The Hacktory has three teachers and one teaching assistant. Currently one workshop is being offered, a micro controller programming class for Raspberry Pi. Past classes have covered topics such as building a bike bag, building a DIY arcade, intro to data mapping with map-making interface CatroDB and more.

The Hacktory also offers a weekly after-school program for 3rd to 5th graders (Kid’s Club), and enrollment has begun for its summer camp programs, which kick off on June 22. 
Continue Reading

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MOVE commemoration to feature prominent speakers, rally and march this Wednesday

Posted on 12 May 2015

West Philly bombing in 1985Several noted public figures, including Cornell West and Chuck D., will be leading a rally and march to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the MOVE tragedy tomorrow.

On May 13, 1985, Philadelphia police under orders from city officials dropped a bomb on a home at 6221 Osage Ave. occupied by several members of the MOVE organization. Eleven people, including five children, died in the resulting fire and dozens of nearby homes were destroyed.

The rally starts at 11 a.m. at 62nd and Osage and organizers are asking participants to “walk, bike, jog or caravan” to 38th and Market where a speak-out will begin at 4 p.m. Activist Angela Davis and writer Alice Walker have prepared video messages that will be played. Speakers include West, Chuck D., hop hop artist Rebel Diaz, activist and attorney Alton Maddox and activists from the Black Lives Matter movement.

If you are unfamiliar with the MOVE or the events surrounding the bombing, here is an excellent documentary released in 2013 that pieces together news footage and interviews. Other background resources include a post on Philadelphia Magazine’s site today. Here is a look back from the Philadelphia Inquirer during the 25th anniversary.

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Parts of Spruce Street to be closed this Tues, Wed for Penn move-out

Posted on 11 May 2015

spruceblockThis is this time of year when Penn students start moving out of their dorms, which causes temporary closure of several blocks of Spruce Street. This year, Spruce Street will be closed to traffic from 34th to 40th on Tuesday, May 12 and Wednesday, May 13, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., according to Penn’s Division of Public Safety announcement.

SEPTA Routes 40 and 42 will be re-routed during the move-out. Please go to SEPTA’s website for more information.

Here are some additional advisories:

• Access will be provided to the Ryan Vet Hospital.
• No taxi cabs will be permitted access.
• Vendors will be permitted access to enter the street prior to the 8 a.m. street closure.
• Bikes will need to be walked on Spruce Street while the streets are closed to traffic.

Penn police will be on site to assist with traffic flow.

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