HollyWoodlands, Halloween Family Fun Day and more Fall events at The Woodlands

Posted on 05 October 2015

755px-HABSWoodlandsColorHalloween is less than a month away and the Woodlands Cemetery and Mansion (40th and Woodland) is once again presenting a series of fun and spooky events for kids and adults alike. More information is below. Also, Bindlestiff Books (4530 Baltimore Ave.) is accepting donations of children’s books for All Hallow’s Read: a spooky book swap that will be held at the Woodlands on Sunday, Oct. 25, from Noon to 4.

HollyWoodlands Movie Night featuring Ghostbusters
Saturday, Oct. 17
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., film starts at 7 p.m.
Requested donation: $10 for adults, $2 for children under 12yrs
Household Level Members and up: Free entry

The Woodlands will provide the firepits, you bring the s’mores, blankets and chairs. PB & Jams and Happy Hippy will be onsite to provide all your snacking needs.  Continue Reading

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Last day to register to vote

Posted on 05 October 2015

Monday, Oct. 5 is the last day you can register to vote in the November 3 election. You can register online, too. Please click on the image below to register if you haven’t done it yet.


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Calling all wealthy millennials who want to put their money to work for social justice

Posted on 05 October 2015


Image provided by Resource Generation Philly chapter.

The local chapter of Resource Generation, a group of 18- to 35-year-olds who have pledged to leverage their wealth or class privilege for social justice, is holding an open house on Oct. 18.

Over the past year the group has committed to providing more than $27,000 in funding to promote racial justice, splitting the money between the Organization for Black Struggle in Ferguson and the Bread and Roses Racial and Economic Justice Fund in Philadelphia. Its members have also hosted meetings on radical investing and regenerative finance, transferring capital and resources to communities impacted by economic inequality.  Continue Reading

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Updates on bike thefts and other crime, including 14-year-old arrested for string of Powelton robberies

Posted on 05 October 2015

This is a follow up to some of the crime reports we published in the last two weeks and a report of a recent arrest in connection with multiple robberies in Powelton.

Shootings on 5200 block of Irving

So far no arrests have been made in connection with the shooting incidents on the 5200 block of Irving St. that left two men seriously wounded. Police said that they have persons of interest but can’t arrest them because there are no witnesses, and the victims are not cooperating.

Gunpoint robberies on S. 50th Street

Police arrested two young men, both West Philly residents, in South Philadelphia on Thursday for a robbery similar to the robberies on S. 50th Street on Sept. 23. Another arrest was made earlier, and all the detained suspects are being looked at in relation to the robberies. In addition, the 18 Police District has assigned plainclothes and uniform cops to the area, which should “help slow things down” and already has, according to police.  Continue Reading

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Public school breakfast, lunch menu for October 2015

Posted on 04 October 2015

Click on the images below to view breakfast and lunch menus served in Philadelphia public schools in October 2015. Click here if your school uses the Satellite menu.

October 2015 K-8 breakfast, lunch menu


Continue Reading

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Huey to go charter; new middle school next year for Powelton under new schools plan

Posted on 02 October 2015

More changes are in store for several Philadelphia public schools, including the conversion of the Samuel B. Huey School (5200 Pine St.) to a charter and the opening of a middle school in cooperation with Drexel University aimed in part at Samuel Powel Elementary (301 N. 36th St.) and students from the nearby Mantua neighborhood.

Superintendent William Hite announced the plan yesterday. It will impact about 5,000 students and cost the district $15 million to $20 million, he said.

Huey, a K-8 school which has struggled academically, would be converted to a charter school as part of the district’s Renaissance Schools Initiative in the 2016-2017 school year. Jay Cooke in Logan in North Philadelphia and John Wister in East Mount Airy would also be converted to charter schools. The plan includes a charter operator selection process that includes school parent representatives on search committees. The School Reform Commission will vote on the charters on Jan. 21, according to reports.  Continue Reading

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Are you a caregiver raising your relatives’ children? Attend Helping Hands Kinship Care Conference this Saturday

Posted on 01 October 2015

KinshipCareconfGrandparents and other relatives who are raising children are invited to the 3rd biennial Helping Hands Kinship Care Conference this Saturday (Oct. 3). The conference, which will take place at the West Philadelphia High School, is organized by Sen. Anthony H. Williams in partnership with the Philadelphia Kinship Care Committee.

The conference will feature a presentation on the new Community Umbrella Agency system (CUA) and workshops on issues that may be relevant to your family, such as Custody and the Law, Family Dynamics of Kinship Care, and Behavioral Health Resources.

This is a free event, but registration is required for lunch: Please call and leave a message for Adele Struble at Turning Points for Children at 215-528-3499 or Grand Central at 215-557-1554. Please provide the following for registration: Name, Address, Phone, Email, Kinship Caregiver relationship to child.

Date: October 3, 2015
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: West Philadelphia High School, 4901 Chestnut St.

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Two people shot in separate incidents on 5200 block of Irving (updated with video)

Posted on 30 September 2015

More information is available on the recent shootings near 52nd and Spruce where two young men were shot and hospitalized.

On Thursday, Sept. 24, a 24-year-old man was shot in the upper left thigh in a shootout on the 5200 block of Irving Street, according to police. The shooting was reported shortly after 9 p.m. Multiple shots were fired in what police believe was an exchange of gunfire between two suspects, black males in early 20’s, who opened fire on the block and another unidentified person, who was shooting back at them. Twenty-two various caliber shell casings were found on the block, and two vehicles parked on the block were struck by stray bullets, according to a police report. The victim was taken to Presbyterian Hospital where he was listed in critical but stable condition.  Continue Reading

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“Don’t I look like a nice lady? Well I’m not.”: Jessica is sick of your off-the-leash dog at The Woodlands

Posted on 30 September 2015


Jessica at ease at The Woodlands. She doesn’t like your dog as much as you do. Photo by Lori Waselchuk.

The tension between those who walk their dogs off-leash at The Woodlands and those who wish they wouldn’t is kind of the west-of-the-Schuylkill version of the Hatfields and the McCoys, Liam and Noel Gallagher, Biggie and Tupac. That may be overstating it slightly, but it’s kind of a big deal to many who frequent the cemetery/park.

Jessica, a West Philly yoga instructor and blogger, has had it. In “An Open Letter to People Who Let Their Dogs Off-Leash at Woodlands Cemetery,” she draws a line in the dirt. “I was once a vicious 13-year old girl,” she writes. “And given the right situation, she can return.”

Jessica originally posted this on her site, but has graciously allowed us to repost it here:  Continue Reading

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Take a break on the bridge: Market St. Bridge gets more pedestrian-friendly

Posted on 30 September 2015


Newly updated Market Street Bridge (Photos by Ben Tran)

The Market Street Bridge, which is used by more than 6,000 pedestrians every day, has just received some nice updates. University City District (UCD) once again teamed up with Groundswell Design, the landscape architecture firm behind the revamped Porch at 30th St. Station, to create enhancements to the pedestrian experience on the iconic bridge connecting West Philadelphia and Center City.

MarketStBridge1These new pedestrian-friendly elements include 120 custom, lightweight planters with lush greenery; bleacher seating that offers great views of the Schuylkill River; and four large gateway pergolas positioned at the main points of entry. The new features also help soften noise from vehicular traffic on the bridge.  Continue Reading

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A little help for African American men at CCP

Posted on 29 September 2015

Here’s some good news out of the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP). The college recently received a $3 million grant to help African American males succeed in college.

The college, which has a student population of more than 34,000, will use the grant to help fund its Center for Male Engagement, which provides access to academic coaches, computers and other education resources. The grant was provided by the Department of Education’s Predominately Black Institutions Program.

“This is a place where men gain the confidence to be successful in life and in their studies,” CCP President Donald Guy Generals said in a statement.

Minority students make up about 76 percent of CCP’s student body.

CCP’s West Regional Center, where the college’s Automotive Technology programs are based, is located at 4725 Chestnut Street.

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Surveillance video captures early morning porch bike theft near 45th and Locust (updated)

Posted on 29 September 2015

UPDATE: According to police, the following bike thefts have been reported in the area since Sept. 24 in addition to the incident described below:

Sept. 24: 48th and Regent; 900 block of S. 46th St.
Sept. 26: 43rd and Sansom
Sept. 27: 200 block of S. 42nd; 200 block of S. 44th; 47th and Pine

A West Philly Local reader says that his two bicycles were stolen from his front porch on the 200 block of S. Melville Street in the early morning of Monday, Sept. 28. The whole incident was captured by a surveillance camera on the building (see image below). The stills from the video that we received show two young unidentified males checking out the bikes on the porch at 3:43 a.m. on Monday. The reader says that the video shows the same two men taking the bikes. The theft has been reported to the police.  Continue Reading

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Dinner, dessert and dancing on Saturday to support Garden Court community projects (updated)

Posted on 28 September 2015


Visit beautiful Garden Court homes and dine on gourmet meals on Saturday, Oct. 3.

This is a great chance to visit and learn more about one of the most beautiful West Philly neighborhoods and meet many of its wonderful residents. On Saturday, Oct. 3, everyone is invited to the annual Garden Court Community Association’s Progressive Dinner. Recently, three Garden Court blocks made it to the top 25 of the most beautiful streets in Philadelphia, and you can visit some of these homes during this event and dine on gourmet international meals. In addition, you can dance the night away at Take The Lead Dance Studio.

The event supports community projects (here‘s just one of the programs GCCA volunteers do in the area). You don’t have to be a GCCA member to attend; however members receive a perk of a discounted ticket price.  Continue Reading

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Dancers sought for Philly Thriller, annual Halloween flash mob dance gig

Posted on 28 September 2015


Philly Thriller dancers perform in front of The Rotunda near 40th and Walnut. (Facebook photo)

Halloween is approaching fast, and the super popular local dance group Philly Thriller is seeking performers for the 7th annual Thriller-inspired flash mob-style dance routine on Halloween night. Rehearsals will begin on Friday, Oct. 16. If you’re interested to join the group, check out this announcement from the Magic Bowl Dance Company:

Always wanted to do the Thriller dance? Saw us last year and want to join in on the fun this year? Be there for a night of performing a short Thriller-inspired dance routine in the streets of West Philly!

Rehearsals pre-registration is required as space is limited!
In full costume and zombie make-up! Four Rehearsals [will be held at University City Arts League]. Must be 18 or older.  Continue Reading

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Volunteers sought for local youth recreation programs

Posted on 25 September 2015

soccer-2011-6The Fall season of the Clark Park Youth Soccer League (CPYSL) begins on Saturday, Oct. 3, and the popular volunteer-run program is still looking for coaches. You don’t need serious soccer skills or coaching experience in order to apply. The Fall season continues until November 23. It takes place on Saturdays at Clark Park (45th and Chester), with age groups 5-6 and 6-7 playing from 10:30 a.m. to Noon, and age groups 7-8 and 9-11 playing from Noon to 1:30 p.m. Volunteer coaches are asked to commit to being there most of the Saturdays through the season, but the program will try to have three or four coaches assigned to each team so that you will always have backup. Everyone who likes to play soccer and enjoys running around and having fun with kids is welcome to apply.  Continue Reading

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12- and 11-year-old rob 13-year-old at gunpoint for iPhone at 42nd and Locust

Posted on 25 September 2015

A Penn Alexander eighth grader was robbed at gunpoint on Thursday evening near 42nd and Locust by two boys, police said.

The eighth grader and a witness told police that at about 7 p.m. he got into an argument with two other boys, ages 11 and 12, when one produced a handgun and asked the victim to hand over his iPhone 6. The two boys fled and were later apprehended near 46th and Spruce. No gun was found, but police retrieved the phone.

We are not releasing the names of the any of the boys involved because of their ages.


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So, in case you haven’t heard, the Pope is coming to town: Here’s some useful info (updated)

Posted on 25 September 2015

Pope_Francis_Korea_Haemi_Castle_19_(cropped)This weekend, the city of Philadelphia will greet Pope Francis, an exciting time for Philadelphians and guests, but also stressful for many local residents. Here’s our summary on various closures, restrictions and cancellations associated with the papal visit. The schedule of events and activities during the Papal visit on Sept. 26 & 27 is available here. Also check out these useful links: Papal Visit PlaybookPhilly Pope Map, Papal Visit FAQs. There will also be live streaming of events from the World Meeting of Families and the Papal visit stream (click here).

We will update this post as more information becomes available. Feel free to post comments or email us ( if you know of any closures or cancellations not included in this post.

Highway Closures, Traffic Restrictions (“Traffic Boxes”)

Some road closures and parking restrictions have already begun ahead of the visit, but major highway closures and traffic restrictions will start on Friday night. Mayor Michael Nutter has announced Papal “traffic boxes” for parts of Center City and West Philadelphia, beginning on Friday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. respectively. Vehicles will be allowed to exit the traffic box area, but will not be allowed to re-enter it (except for emergency vehicles). There will be no SEPTA bus or trolley service within the boundaries of the traffic box, but there will be no restrictions to bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Here are the boundaries for the West Philadelphia Traffic Box:  Continue Reading

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Renata’s Kitchen now open at 4533 Baltimore Avenue (updated)

Posted on 24 September 2015

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Renata’s Kitchen co-owner Kate Aiq at the grand opening on Wednesday.

RenatasKitchenoutsideRenata’s Kitchen (formerly Café Renata) opened its doors to the public at their new location at 4533 Baltimore Avenue last night. A sizable crowd turned up to celebrate the grand re-opening of the restaurant that suffered a devastating fire at their former location near 43rd and Locust last spring.

Starting this Friday, the restaurant, which serves Mediterranean and American-style breakfast, lunch and brunch, will be open daily: Mon-Fri 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sat & Sun 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Renata’s co-owner Kate Aiq said that they’re also planning to introduce a dinner menu in a couple of months after they settle in at the new location. Also, the restaurant is currently hiring, mostly line cooks. Resumes are accepted at:  Continue Reading

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Series of gunpoint robberies on S. 50th street on Wednesday

Posted on 24 September 2015

A series of gunpoint robberies committed by what looks like the same two suspects took place on Wednesday night on South 50th street, according to police.

The first robbery was reported near 50th and Walton. A 24-year-old man told police that he was walking in the area around 9:50 p.m. and talking on his cell phone when he was approached by two unknown males who had white T-shirts covering their faces. One of the males pointed a black handgun at the man and said: “Where’s the money? Where’s the phone?”, according to a police report. The man handed the robbers his Samsung flip phone and his wallet containing his credit and debit cards and identification. One of the robbers also grabbed the man’s backpack, after which both suspects fled northbound on 50th street. The man was not injured. Police said that one of the suspects was wearing a white tank top. Continue Reading

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