SLA Beeber to start middle school, recruiting for 5th grade next year

Posted on 22 September 2017

Science Leadership Academy (SLA), the highly successful magnet high school, is starting a middle school at its Beeber campus near 59th and Malvern.

The school is now recruiting students for its first fifth grade class, which will start in the 2018-2019 school year. The middle school – 5th through 8th grade – will be housed in the former Beeber Middle School, a building it will share with the SLA high school there. SLA also has a high school in Center City and another new middle school near Drexel in the Powelton Village neighborhood.

Like its other schools, admission to the new middle school will require an application and an interview. Once admitted, though, students can automatically move on to the SLA Beeber High School, one of the more selective high schools in the city.  Continue Reading

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Movies in Clark Park, Bartram’s Garden Family Outdoor Movie Night series conclude Friday

Posted on 21 September 2017

Due to rainy weather in August, some movie screenings in Clark Park were postponed, so this Friday (Sept. 22), the “Movies in Clark” series will return for one last time with a rescheduled screening of Hidden Figures. This Oscar-nominated film tells the story of three brilliant African American women working for NASA who served as the brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit during the 1960s.

The film screening will begin at 8 p.m., but all are invited to come early to a presentation of a “Life in Space” program by The Franklin Institute staff (starting at 6:15), plus enjoy food and desserts from some local food trucks, such as Humpty’s Dumplings, Pink’s Cold Treats, and more.  Continue Reading

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Proposed 3-unit building with ground floor commercial on 5000 block of Baltimore gets tentative community approval

Posted on 20 September 2017

Public response was generally favorable during a Cedar Park Neighbors zoning committee meeting on Tuesday toward a proposed three-unit building with ground floor commercial space on a vacant lot on the 5000 of Baltimore Avenue.

The building, which would occupy a vacant lot at 5047 Baltimore Ave., requires approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment because it will exceed the two apartments allowed under the zoning code. One of those apartments will include basement bedrooms, which allowed the developer to keep the building within the zoning code’s height requirements. The other two units would include two and three bedrooms each.  Continue Reading

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Zoning hearing Tuesday for proposed multi-family building with commercial on 5000 block of Baltimore

Posted on 18 September 2017

The Cedar Park Neighbors zoning committee will consider a proposal on Tuesday for a three unit, multi-family building on the vacant lot located at 5047 Baltimore Avenue.

The building would include commercial space on the first floor and two additional floors. The maximum height of the building is 48 feet.

Community members are invited to meet with the owner, see the plans, ask questions and voice their opinion. More information can be found on the Facebook event page.

The hearing begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Calvary Center at 801 S. 48th Street (2nd floor).

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Memorial service for Vincent Whittacre, former Gold Standard Cafe owner and Cedar Park community leader, who passed away last week, scheduled for Sept. 24

Posted on 18 September 2017

We’re very sad to report that Vincent (Vince) Whittacre, former owner of the Gold Standard Cafe and Cedar Park community organizer, passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at the age of 57.

Vince Whittacre (right) with his spouse and business partner Roger Harman (Photo from BABA Facebook page).

Vince not only was a co-founder and co-owner of the popular Cedar Park restaurant (he and his spouse and business partner Roger Harman sold it in 2015 after almost 35 years of work in the restaurant business), he was also a founder and past president of the Baltimore Avenue Business Association (BABA). The following message was posted on BABA’s Facebook page:

“Vince was an involved and active member of our West Philly community. He made a difference, investing, immersing, and concerning himself in so many ways. As a former leader and former President of BABA, we appreciate his hard work, support, dedication and legacy. We will miss him.”

Vince was also active in many local organizations, such as Curio Theatre Company, Chester Avenue Dog Park, Action AIDS, and more. He was also an “avid reader, lover of mysteries, film enthusiast, and an excellent cook,” according to an obituary posted online. “He could often be found at the opera or ballet crying along to one of his many favorite performances, especially Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet… [He] possessed an acidic wit and infectious laugh.”  Continue Reading

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Clark Park Youth Soccer program looking for volunteer coaches

Posted on 15 September 2017

Twice a year, Clark Park Youth Soccer League invites local kids ages 5-11 to participate in the program held at Clark Park. The Fall season starts Sept. 23rd, and while there is no shortage of kids signing up, this low-cost program is still looking for volunteer coaches.

If you like to play soccer, know a little bit about the game, and enjoy running around and having fun with kids, please consider volunteering for this program.

The Fall season continues through mid-November. It takes place on Saturdays, with kids ages 5 to 7 playing from 10:30 a.m. to Noon, and ages 8 to 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. Three or four coaches will be assigned to each team so that you’ll always have backup. Continue Reading

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A free ‘Tribute to Prince’ featuring Sheila E., Morris Day and Questlove at 50th and Baltimore this Saturday

Posted on 15 September 2017

Click to enlarge

Prince may be gone, but this event at 50th and Baltimore will make sure that, at least in West Philly, he is not forgotten. Sheila E. and Morris Day and The Time – some of Prince’s closest collaborators – will headline a “Tribute to Prince,” a free concert on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 50th and Baltimore that will also include West Philly’s own DJ Questlove.

The annual Neighborhood-to-Neighborhood Street Festival kicks off at noon. Sheila E., Prince’s one-time fiancé who opened for him on the Purple Rain tour, is set to play at 2 p.m. Morris Day, who co-starred with Prince in the film Purple Rain, will be onstage with his band, The Time, at 7 p.m. In between, Questlove, rapper PnB Rock, comedian Skeet and a number of local artists will perform.  Continue Reading

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SEPTA to replace trolley tracks on Spruce Street between 38th and 40th

Posted on 14 September 2017

trolleySEPTA has scheduled a trolley track replacement project on Spruce Street between 38th-40th Streets. The work will begin Monday, Sept. 18 and is scheduled to end on Sunday, Oct. 1.

This portion of track is used when street closures or emergencies prevent trolleys from using their regular routing. The construction is not anticipated to affect service on Routes 11, 13, 34 and 36.

Most of the track in this area was last replaced in the 1950s. The street structure supporting the tracks has deteriorated due to weather, traffic and the age of the road surface. SEPTA will excavate and replace approximately 1,100 track feet and repave the track area. The new and improved track components will make for a smoother and quieter ride.  Continue Reading

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Cedar Park Neighbors hosting opioid overdose reversal training on Monday, Sept. 18

Posted on 13 September 2017

Photo courtesy of Cedar Park Neighbors.

Philadelphia is on track to record 1,200 drug-overdose deaths this year, according to City health officials. All kinds of people – from police to librarians – are being trained to use Narcan kits to reverse overdoses.

On Monday, Sept. 18, Cedar Park Neighbors is hosting a training on how to reverse an opioid overdose. Prevention Point, a longtime community based organization that has worked with tens of thousands of community members struggling with the effects of opioid addiction, will conduct the training.

The training will include detailed information on how to obtain and administer Narcan™ (naloxone), a medication that, when administered promptly to individuals who are experiencing an overdose, can save their lives. Prevention Point will also provide information on how to obtain this medication.

The training will take place at the Calvary Center Chapel (48th and Baltimore), beginning at 6:30 p.m., and will take approximately 1.5 hours. No RSVP is required, but trainees are asked to be on time and remain for the full training.

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Doctors’ office, not retail as hoped by many, likely coming to 46th and Spruce

Posted on 13 September 2017

Rendering of new apartment building coming to 46th and Spruce via

It looks like a doctors’ office will occupy the ground floor of the apartment building coming to the southeast corner of 46th and Spruce, dashing the hopes of some neighbors that a restaurant or other high foot traffic businesses would move into the space.

The good news is that there is unlikely to be an uptick in vehicle traffic related to the new tenant as the proposed doctors’ office, Penn Family Medicine University City, is presently located just a few doors down at 4623 Spruce. It would move in following construction of the four-story, 21-unit apartment complex that, much to the dismay of nearby residents, will feature a roof deck and no off-street parking. That project was held up in court for a year or so, but now has the green light.  Continue Reading

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Democratic Candidates Forum this Thursday at USciences

Posted on 12 September 2017

The Philadelphia general election is on November 7, and here’s an opportunity for West Philly residents to meet some of the Democratic candidates, including Larry Krasner, Philadephia District Attorney. A Democratic Candidates’ Night, organized by the 27th Ward Democratic Committee, will be held Thursday, Sept. 14, at University of the Sciences (Rosenberger Hall, 600 S. 43rd St).  Continue Reading

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More outdoor theatre in West Philly: Curio kicks off season with ‘I, Peaseblossom’ in The Woodlands Cemetery

Posted on 11 September 2017

September is here but outdoor theatre is still alive in West Philly. Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 13, Curio Theatre Company will present a series of FREE performances of I, Peaseblossom in the Woodlands Cemetery (40th and Woodland). The play is based on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and is presented as part of the 2017 Fringe Festival.

Imagine if the story of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” had been told by one of Lady Titania’s fairies who has only four lines with a total of five words in the play! I, Peaseblossom is a funny and interactive play which establishes a relationship between the audience and the performer.  Continue Reading

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Grocer/restaurant proposed for ground floor of new apartment building at 43rd and Sansom

Posted on 11 September 2017

New apartment building at 43rd and Sansom.

A combination small grocery store and restaurant featuring shawarma and other Middle Eastern treats has been proposed for the ground floor space of the new apartment building at 43rd and Sansom.

Called “Alrayyan Supermarket,” the proposed business would feature groceries, a kitchen serving a fairly extensive menu and a lounge for dining at the space located on the southeast corner of the intersection., according to a presentation before the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee late last week.

“It’s a grocery store and not a dollar store or frozen food place that does nothing for the neighborhood,” said Ron Patterson, the lawyer for the outfit seeking approval.  Continue Reading

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A pre-fab, 6-story apartment building to replace car wash on 4100 block of Chestnut

Posted on 08 September 2017

Rendering of one version of the proposed building at 4125 Chestnut Street.

A 130-unit, pre-fab modular building is coming to the 4100 block of Chestnut Street.

The planned building was presented to the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee on Thursday and will replace the Wash ‘n Lube at 4125 Chestnut St. The presentation was mostly a heads up for the community as the project can be built “by right,” meaning it requires very little oversight and no community approval.

The committee considered a proposal earlier in the summer for a 17-story building on the site, but those plans were quickly scuttled, and the property was sold to another developer within the last few weeks.  Continue Reading

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Honey Festival, fall plant sale, free boating this weekend at Bartram’s Garden

Posted on 08 September 2017

If you’re looking for things to do this weekend check out all the events and activities happening at Bartram’s Garden.

Philadelphia Honey Festival

The annual Philadelphia Honey Fest will be held at Bartram’s on Sunday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature myriad activities for the whole family: a children’s carnival and a couple of bee parades, honey extraction demonstrations, House and Garden tours, musical performances, beekeeper talks, story hours, and more. Local vendors and organizations will also be selling honey based products and providing demonstrations. If you get hungry there will be food trucks on site. Parks on Tap (a traveling beer garden) will also be there. And last but not least, don’t miss a special “Bee Beard” demonstration at 3 p.m.: Don Shump, owner of the Philadelphia Bee Company will create a beard of bees on his face! For more information and activity schedule, go hereContinue Reading

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New USciences Student Residence Hall to break ground today at 46th and Woodland – former Wilson elementary school site

Posted on 07 September 2017

Rendering image of the new USciences Student Residence Hall currently under construction at 46th and Woodland.

University of the Sciences and city officials will participate in a groundbreaking ceremony today for the new student residence hall at 46th and Woodland, on the site of the demolished Alexander Wilson elementary school.

USciences purchased the school building in 2014, a year after the School District of Philadelphia closed it down and decided to sell it. The university revealed plans for its new student residence hall in that location in the spring of 2016. The new dorm will house over 400 students and will also include ground-floor retail and an open courtyard along Woodland Ave (see rendering above). It will replace housing the university currently owns.

The new Student Residence Hall and Mixed-Use Facility is set to open in the winter of 2018-19. For more information and images, go here.

The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

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Spruce Hill Zoning meeting to discuss “by right” construction of 6-story residential building at 4125 Chestnut St

Posted on 06 September 2017

Residents are invited Thursday, Sept. 7th to the Spruce Hill Community Association Office at 257 S. 45th St to hear about new development projects in the area. Three items will be on the agenda, including a proposed “by-right” construction of a 6-story residential building at 4125 Chestnut St. “By right” means that the property’s zoning allows the construction of the building without any additional permission.

The new building would replace the “Wash N Lube” car wash on the 4100 block of Chestnut. The initial plans for this location were revealed earlier this year and included construction of a 17-story residential tower with commercial space and an underground parking lot, but were later modified.  Continue Reading

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Job, volunteer training opportunities in West, Southwest Philly

Posted on 06 September 2017

West Philly residents are invited to participate in the following job and volunteer training programs in West and Southwest Philadelphia:

University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative is recruiting Science Lab Helpers for positions with the University of Pennsylvania. Applications are accepted through Friday, Sept. 15. This is the 4th cohort the program has built with the university. They are looking to hire entry-level, Science Lab Helpers who will earn $15/hour to start.

The Skills Initiative is seeking applicants who possess a high school diploma or GED; are currently unemployed; and live in the West Philadelphia zip codes of 19104, 19131, 19139, 19143, or 19151. Applicants with experience working in janitorial, housekeeping, labor, science lab or related fields are encouraged to apply. Program participants receive a performance-based stipend during the training and learn the skills needed to successfully connect to employment and a fulfilling career path.  Continue Reading

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Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll is back this Thursday

Posted on 05 September 2017

This summer’s first Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll was held on June 15. (Photo by Ben Tran)

As the summer is coming to an end, this is a great opportunity to spend an evening outside enjoying food, drinks, treats and many other offers from local businesses, especially when every item costs $1. Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll returns Thursday, Sept. 7 for the second (and last) time this summer. It will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. between 43rd and 52nd streets.

Over 30 businesses will participate in this Dollar Stroll (see the map below), and there will also be live entertainment: Hip Hop Fundamentals will perform at 50th and Baltimore, and Red Hot Ticket, a four-piece band featuring members of the West Philadelphia Orchestra, will perform 90s hip hop favorites as they make their way
up and down Baltimore Avenue. Also, bring your kids to see jugglers in front of Milk and Honey (Baltimore and 45th), and for some face-painting and balloon art at Cedar Park.  Continue Reading

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