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SEPTA’s annual ‘Stop Hunger at Your Station’ food drive to begin June 18

June 15, 2018

Click to enlarge.

Beginning on Monday, June 18, there is an opportunity to help low-income families in the Greater Philadelphia region by participating in SEPTA’s annual food drive.

Since the academic year has come to an end, many local families will struggle to find a way to replace the free and reduced cost breakfasts and lunches their children receive at school every day. Food collected during SEPTA’s food drive for Philabundance and its member agencies will help families throughout the area supplement those meals.

The food drive will run for five days through Friday, June 22. During these days, food collection barrels will be placed at SEPTA stations across the Authority’s service area. SEPTA will collect donations of much needed food staples including peanut butter, canned tuna and meat, whole grain pasta and canned fruits and vegetables to help provide local children with nutritious meals during the summer months. Last year, SEPTA employees and customers contributed the equivalent of almost 35,000 meals.

Check out the flier for a list of Philabundance’s most needed items.

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Full-time, part-time, seasonal job offers at West Philly Community Job Fair on June 29

June 14, 2018

                     Click to enlarge.

Area residents looking for jobs are invited to the first annual West Philly Community Job Fair, which will take place on Friday, June 29.

Some of the companies who have registered so far include Comcast, SEPTA, UPS, Philadelphia Fire Department, Staffing Plus, and many more, according to job fair coordinator Charity R. Wells. These companies and organizations are looking to hire entry-level, full time, part time, seasonal, and temporary positions.

Attendees can register in advance using this link. Registration is free.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Beulah Baptist Church (5001-21 Spruce St).

See the flier for more information.

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Summer Nights at the Penn Museum series kicks off June 20 with West Philly Local night special

June 13, 2018

Penn

The popular Summer Nights at the Penn Museum concert series returns Wednesday, June 20, and we’re happy to announce the opening night special for our readers. The series features live music performances from some of Philadelphia’s best live bands—offering the sounds of Creole Zydeco, Latin Jazz, Middle Eastern folk, Pre-Revolutionary Cuba, and more. Concerts are held in the Penn Museum’s outdoor Stoner Courtyard every Wednesday night from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., will run through Sept. 5.

The opening night will feature the Middle Eastern-fusion sounds of Animus,the perfect group to kick off the concert season as the museum celebrates the opening of its new Middle East Galleries. Primarily an Eastern Mediterranean/Middle Eastern/Latin/American fusion ensemble, Animus also performs traditional Eastern Mediterranean/Middle Eastern music.  Continue Reading

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Police looking for suspects who stole video surveillance cameras near 47th and Osage

June 12, 2018

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying three individuals responsible for stealing several video surveillance cameras from homes in the area of 4700 Osage Avenue and for a fire believed to be arson near 41st and Sansom.

The video camera theft occurred on Thursday, April 19, in the early morning hours, according to police. Then, on Saturday, May 3, around 1:25 a.m., the same suspects vandalized the side of a commercial vehicle with paint and then set it on fire on the 4100 block of Sansom Street, according to police.  Continue Reading

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Woman found naked, shot in head near 47th and Springfield (updated)

June 12, 2018

A woman in her mid 20s was found shot dead near 47th and Springfield early Tuesday, according to police.

The unidentified woman, who was naked except for socks, was found with a gunshot wound to the head.

Police responded to reports of gunshots shortly after midnight on Tuesday. The woman was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. on Tuesday. A handgun was found near her body, according to reports.

A police spokesman said this morning that the woman’s death was likely a suicide, but added that an investigation was underway.

 

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Street improvement work planned next week for 3800-4600 blocks of Spruce Street

June 8, 2018

The Philadelphia Streets Department has announced street improvement work on some West Philadelphia streets, including the 3800 to 4600 blocks of Spruce Street, for the week of June 11. The work schedule includes temporary, full street closures and parking restrictions (weather or special events in the area may alter the resurfacing schedule).

Work will be completed in separate phases – milling and adjusting of manhole covers and resetting of utility boxes – which will take place in separate activities over the course of the week.

Temporary ‘No Parking’ signs will be posted in advance of each scheduled activity. Residents are urged to move their cars from the work sites when temporary ‘No Parking’ signs are posted, so that vehicles are not towed. If your car is towed, please contact your local Police District to determine its location (also check this earlier post about where a towed car was found).

Go here to see the list of streets where improvement work is scheduled for next week. To view the complete list of streets scheduled for improvements during the 2018 Paving Season, click here.

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New job training opportunity with West Philadelphia Skills Initiative and Chesterbrook Academy Preschool

June 8, 2018

West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, the program that connects unemployed West Philadelphia residents with local employers, is partnering with Chesterbrook Academy Preschool of Drexel University to recruit individuals for a new job training opportunity. The program participants will be trained to be Preschool Lead Teachers and Preschool Assistant Teachers.

Chesterbrook Academy Preschool is part of a national network of more than 180 private schools offering preschool through 12th grade education. This is the second cohort that the Skills Initiative is running in partnership with Chesterbrook Academy Preschool of Drexel University.  Continue Reading

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Special menus, events in West Philly during Black Restaurant Week, June 10-17

June 7, 2018

Philadelphia Black Restaurant Week, a new initiative that brings a spotlight to Black-owned food establishments in the city, will be held from June 10-17, and it’s great to see some West Philly restaurants participating in the event.

The Philly Black Restaurant Week (BRW) will include special dining options at participating restaurants, plus workshops, cooking demonstrations, competitions and other events.

In West Philly, the Center for Culinary Enterprises (310 S. 48th St) will hold AROMA, a culinary panel discussion, where guests can learn strategies and tips from leading industry experts about owning a successful restaurant business. Featured panelists will include:  Continue Reading

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Check out the map of Thursday’s Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll

June 6, 2018

Photo courtesy of University City District.

The first Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll this summer will be held Thursday, June 7. Businesses will be offering $1 items – from food to drinks to theatre tickets – from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event will stretch from 43rd Street where select Clark Park farmers market vendors will be offering $1 deals, all the way to 52nd Street, where Greensgrow West will have some plants for sale for just one buck. The event will also feature live music and family entertainment along Baltimore Avenue.  Continue Reading

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Buses to replace SEPTA Route 13 Trolley for a week beginning this Friday

June 5, 2018

SEPTA will conduct a track renewal project on a portion of its Route 13 trolley line from June 8 – June 15, 2018. The project will take place on Chester Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets, on the eastbound and westbound tracks. During the track renewal project, buses will replace trolleys along the Route 13 from Darby Transportation Center (9th and Main Streets) to the 40th Street Trolley Portal. Passengers can board any Route 11, 34, or 36 trolley for service between the 40th Street Portal and Center City.  Continue Reading

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Public art installation by artist Rea Tajiri ‘activates’ history of Japanese immigration to Philadelphia

June 4, 2018

Some of you have probably noticed blue bikes popping up in the last month at several locations in West Philly. They are actually a part of a multisite public art installation by Japanese American filmmaker and visual artist Rea Tajiri. Titled “WATARIDORI: birds of passage,” the project is part of the Asian Arts Initiative’s 25th anniversary celebration and “activates real and speculative histories” of Japanese immigrants in Philadelphia.

Check out this art installation at the front of the house at 4238 Spruce Street:

Art installation by Japanese American artist Rea Tajiri at 43rd & Spruce.

A post shared by West Philly Local (@westphillylocal) on

Other locations for Rea Tajiri’s public art installation include:  Continue Reading

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Energy efficiency program available for small businesses in West Philly

June 1, 2018

Food service establishments are often high energy consumers due to using refrigeration and other 24/7 equipment and utilities are often their biggest expense every month. A new turnkey energy efficiency program, offered by the Philadelphia Energy Authority, helps small businesses in West Philly, such as corner and grocery stores, bars and restaurants, save money. The program is in partnership with West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution and Lime Energy.

Eligible businesses will receive a free energy assessment and will be provided grants, rebates and financing to install new, energy-efficient equipment that will help reduce monthly utility costs by up to 30 percent.  Continue Reading

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West Philly Porchfest returns this Saturday with dozens of free shows throughout the day

May 31, 2018

West Philly Porchfest, an outdoor DIY music festival, is returning this Saturday (June 2) with dozens of free shows scheduled from 12 to 6 p.m. This year, musicians and groups representing various musical genres will be performing on porches in the area stretching from Market Street to Woodland Avenue and from 40th to 52nd Streets.

The festival organizers have created a useful map showing host porch locations and show times. All performances are divided into three groups. From 12 to 2 p.m., shows will be held on porches on and south of Baltimore Ave. From 2 to 4 p.m., most performances will be held north of Baltimore Ave. between 48th and 52nd Streets. And finally, from 4 to 6 p.m., check out performances north of Baltimore Ave. between 40th and 48th Streets. There are a few exceptions though (one show will be held near 58th and Osage), so make sure to go to the West Philly Porchfest website to check out the map.

This is the festival’s third year. Last year, 69 porches participated in the event.

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Cedar Park Neighbors wants those bandit signs

May 30, 2018

Cedar Park Neighbors is taking advantage of a city program to raise some money and get rid of those illegal slapdash signs posted on light poles, sidewalk trees and other public places offering cash for your house, your car or even your diabetic test strips.

The city is offering community groups 50 cents a sign during the “Illegal Signs Roundup” from June 1 through June 15.

Michael Froehlich, an attorney with Community Legal Services’ Homeownership and Consumer Rights unit and a Cedar Park resident, said the initiative particularly targets the signs of “real estate predators” offering to buy homes for cash.

“They rip off seniors and low-income families. Their illegal advertising litters and disrespects our communities,” he said in an e-mail. “For us, it’s a win-win-win: we protect homeowners from being tricked by these predators, we clean up our streets from these ugly advertisements, and we raise money to support our Friday night jazz series, scholarship program, and other community activities.”  Continue Reading

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40th Street Artist-in-Residence program accepting applications for 2018-2019 residency

May 29, 2018

40th Street AIR studio and gallery on 40th and Chestnut.

The 40th Street Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program is currently accepting applications from local artists for its 2018-2019 residency in West Philadelphia. The program provides one year of free studio space to visual artists who reside in or are strongly affiliated with West Philadelphia neighborhoods.

The program assists emerging artists in their career growth and also lets them share their talents with the local community.  Continue Reading

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SEPTA to stop selling paper transfers beginning Aug. 1

May 25, 2018

SEPTA is getting rid of paper transfers this summer. Paper transfers for travel on buses, subways and trolleys will stop being issued at the end of the service day on Tuesday, July 31. Starting August 1, to receive a qualifying $1 transfer, customers will need to use a SEPTA Key Card with Travel Wallet. Customers who are eligible for reduced fare travel will need to use a SEPTA Key Card with Travel Wallet to receive the half-fare $0.50 transfer.

This is the latest effort by SEPTA to encourage more customers to switch to the Key Card, which was launched in June 2016. The majority of SEPTA customers have already made the switch.

After eliminating token and magnetic stripe TransPass sales at SEPTA-operated locations earlier this spring SEPTA has recently announced that third-party retail sales of tokens and magnetic stripe passes will also end by Aug. 1.

For more information about the SEPTA Key Fare program, visit: www.septakey.org.

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The Dirt Factory closed for now, looking for new space

May 24, 2018

The Dirt Factory, the community compost facility that opened at 4308 Market Street six years ago, has closed due to the sale of the property. The facility is currently looking for a new home and is not accepting composting donations from the community at the moment, according to The Dirt Factory website.

The University City District opened the facility in 2012 and transformed an empty lot into a neighborhood asset. It’s not yet known what the new owner is planning to do with the lot. So far no construction permits have been issued. A new “higher end” apartment building is being proposed next door to the lot – at 4312-20 Market.

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Police search for suspect in armed robberies of four banks in University City, including PNC at 40th and Walnut on Tuesday

May 24, 2018

Police are asking for the public’s assistance to help find the person who they believe robbed five banks in the city in the past month, four of them in the University City area. The latest robbery was Tuesday, May 22 when the suspect, a man in his late 40’s to early 50’s (pictured), entered the PNC Bank branch at 40th and Walnut at around 4 p.m. and and held up the bank at gunpoint.

The suspect was armed with a black semi-automatic handgun in this robbery. He fled on foot with an unknown amount of cash, according to reports.

Police believe this person also committed the following robberies: Continue Reading

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Jazz Heritage Series kicks off this Thursday at Malcolm X Park

May 23, 2018

Another great West Philly summer tradition, Jazz Heritage Series, will kick off this Thursday (May 24) at Malcolm X Park at 52nd and Pine. The series, presented by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and co-hosted by the Friends of Malcolm X Park and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, will feature free live performances by well-known Philadelphia area musicians every other Thursday (weather permitted) at 7 p.m. through September 13. Here’s the full lineup:

May 24 – Keni Jackson, Experience
June 7 – Keyboardist Glenn Bryan & Friends
June 21 – The Budesa Brothers
July 5 – Drummer Carlos DeVaughn & The All-Stars
July 19 – Vocalist Shirley Lites
Aug. 2 – Bassist Tony (TNT) Jones & Beyond The Dream
Aug. 16 – The Barbara Walker Story
Aug. 30 – The Clef Club Student Ensemble
Sept. 13 – The Sam Reed Band

Just a reminder that Cedar Park Jazz series will also return this summer. The first performance is next Friday, June 1, at 6 p.m.

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