Support Saint Mary’s Nursery School at Annual Fundraiser on Saturday, April 22 (Sponsored)

Posted on 22 March 2017

Do you want to support early childhood education and have a fun evening while you’re at it? Would you vie for a luxurious dinner & night at a Society Hill hotel? How about a party package to University Family Fun Center or action packed sessions for you or your kids at HFS Parkour? These are just a few of the exciting auction items featured at the 13th annual Saint Mary’s Nursery School (SMNS) annual fundraiser:

Spring For Our School Silent Auction & Party
Saturday, April 22 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Harnwell College House Rooftop Lounge
3820 Locust Walk
Tickets $45 (adults only) at:

Special Attractions

Shakespeare in Clark Park’s Kittson O’Neill will host the event. DJ Duiji 13 will not only provide ambience, but a dance party after the auction. Philly Homebrew West will offer beer tasting with a backdrop of breathtaking panoramic views from this rooftop lounge. Chef’s Table catering will leave you satisfied.  Continue Reading

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A family-friendly, pop-up beer garden on a decrepit West Philly block?

Posted on 22 March 2017

Longtime West Philly resident Jeff Lutzner pitches “Pentridge Station,” a playground/park/beer garden proposed for a vacant lot on the 5100 block of Pentridge Street (Photo by West Philly Local).

A longtime West Philly resident is gambling that people will want to travel down a troubled street that is lined with abandoned cars, empty buildings and a quasi-legal automotive shop that sometimes hosts raucous outdoor parties during which shots have been fired to visit his kid-friendly, pop-up beer garden.

It sounds risky, but several people who attended last night’s Cedar Park Neighbors zoning committee meeting to discuss the proposed seasonal beer garden in an abandoned lot on the 5100 block of Pentridge Street said they will support it. Jeff Lutzner, a longtime resident and block captain on the 4900 block of Cedar Avenue, owns the lot and hopes that the beer garden/playground might bring some much-needed attention to the block.

“We really want it to be a place where families could convene,” Lutzner told the 30 or so people gathered at the meeting.  Continue Reading

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Artists sought for public projects in Powelton; presentation next Thursday

Posted on 21 March 2017

Lola38, a creative placemaking project in West Philadelphia, is seeking artists to design and create art installations at the former United Bank building and the fence around the site of the demolished University City High School in an effort to beautify neighborhoods surrounding Lower Lancaster Avenue.

On March 30, these artists will pitch their ideas to neighbors, some of which are fellow artists and curators themselves. The five-minute-presentations, which will begin at 6 p.m. at the former bank (3750 Lancaster Ave) will be done in the style of PechaKucha, a Japanese method in which 20 slides are displayed for 20 seconds each. In addition to arguing why their work should be chosen, artists are also encouraged to respond to one of the following three questions: “How does progress feel?“, “Which walls are invisible?“, and “Is there a good rate of change?”  Continue Reading

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Spring gobbler shows up at The Woodlands

Posted on 21 March 2017

It’s not that unusual to see wild turkeys in our area, with several sightings over the last few years. Most of them hang out at Bartram’s Garden, but some venture out into West Philly neighborhoods from time to time. One was spotted today at The Woodlands Cemetery at 40th and Woodland. Check out their video in the tweet below:

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Detective Joe Murray is moving on from West Philly; we caught up with him briefly

Posted on 21 March 2017

From Detective Joe Murray’s Twitter feed – @PPDJoeMurray.


Detective Joe Murray, the social media savvy cop who entertained and informed followers with pithy tweets about everything from police policy to top-shelf donuts and Wrestlemania, is moving on after 11 years in West and Southwest Philly.

He announced in a March 7 tweet (natch) that he had been transferred to the PPD’s Homicide Division, a much-deserved promotion. Murray won the Richardson Dilworth Award for Innovation and Government in 2015 and didn’t shy away from calling out the highest levels of the PPD. His story made it to NPR in 2012 after the PPD’s top brass figured all his tweeting was a good idea. They did make him professionalize his Twitter handle, though, so he gave up his trademark moniker “The Fuzz” to the more official “@PPDJoeMurray.”

We recently asked Murray a few questions about his time on the West side.  Continue Reading

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Curry Bird brings dumplings and bubble tea to 46th and Woodland

Posted on 20 March 2017

After working as a server in Philadelphia for many years, Guo ‘Sunni’ Tang was done. “As a server, you work 12 hours a day and don’t make much money,” she explained. “I want to make more money to improve life for my parents.”

Driven by a goal of supporting her aging parents and the desire to provide a wider selection of food for the University of the Sciences student population and the area surrounding it, Tang decided to open a dumpling and bubble tea spot. Curry Bird, a new Cantonese and Thai takeout restaurant, is at 4604 Woodland Ave. (where New China Gourmet used to be), adjacent to Noah’s Pizza.

The shop had its soft opening on Saturday, where chicken curry and veggie dumplings samples were given away to neighbors at no charge. News spread via word of mouth.

The interior has been completely redesigned with wooden panels and wooden floors. Another thing you’ll notice is that there are no servers, but just a takeout restaurant with minimal seating.  Continue Reading

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Pop-up Beer Garden proposed on 5100 block of Pentridge St.; Community meeting on Tuesday

Posted on 17 March 2017

Cedar Park residents and all interested individuals are invited to a community meeting on Tuesday, March 21 to hear a proposal of a pop-up (temporary) beer garden on the 5100 block of Pentridge Street. The meeting is organized by Cedar Park Neighbors.

The beer garden is being proposed at 5112-5120 Pentridge St. (see map), the area that currently includes a few empty lots. A search of the BRT database revealed the owner of the property as Fatty Tuna LLC. The meeting is an opportunity to meet with the owner, see the plans of what they would like to do and voice your opinion on this issue.

The meeting will be held at the Calvary Center (4740 Baltimore Ave.), beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Those who would like to comment but cannot attend the meeting are welcome to send their comments to CPN:

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SEPTA proposes fare increases; public hearings next month

Posted on 17 March 2017

SEPTA is proposing price increases on pretty much everything except transfers. Cash fares will go from $2.25 to $2.50 and discounted fares (with a token or Key card) will increase to $2 from $1.80. If approved the new fares would take effect on July 1, 2017.

This increase was supposed to be proposed last year as part of the plan to raise fares every three years, but was postponed for the rollout of the new SEPTA Key program.

Here are the changes in other SEPTA products:

• Weekly TransPass increases $1.50 to $25.50
• Monthly TransPasses increase from $90 to $96
• Disabled fare increases 25 cents to $1.25
• A Convenience Pass goes up a buck to $9 as do Independence Passes, which go from $12 to $13 for an individual and $20 to $30 for a family.

SEPTA will hold public hearings on its proposed 2018 budget (including the proposed fare increases) in April. The one in Philadelphia (others are in Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Chester Counties) is scheduled for Monday, April 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at SEPTA headquarters, 1234 Market St. Comments can be e-mailed to

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Philadelphia Parks & Rec seeking young people for lifeguard positions this summer

Posted on 17 March 2017

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR) has begun its competitive lifeguard recruitment process for the summer. PPR hires 400 lifeguards annually to staff its 70 outdoor and four indoor pools (read our earlier post here).

This is a great summer job for young people because it pays between $12.33 and $14.60 an hour and most people are able to work in their own neighborhood. PPR staff can even assist interested candidates that may not be the strong swimmers, if they start the process early.

The first step for interested candidates is to attend a screening at one of PPR’s three indoor training facilities during the following screening days and times from now until June:  Continue Reading

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Philadelphia energy company offers a cleaner way (Sponsored)

Posted on 16 March 2017

The Power Smoothie from Inspire on Vimeo.

It’s time you changed the power status quo

Do you think about where your power is coming from when you flip a switch? While the source of power going to your neighborhood may be far away, its effects hit very close to home. Unless you generate it yourself, your home uses the power supplied through a municipal grid. It gets energy from a variety of sources, both clean and dirty. In Pennsylvania, the grid is dirty since its main source of energy is comprised of coal.

Guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way. You have the power to switch up the source of power in the grid, simply by paying your monthly electricity bill.  Continue Reading

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Armed suspect sought in two West Philly food truck robberies

Posted on 16 March 2017

                                       Click to enlarge.

The Philadelphia Police Department has released surveillance video and is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying an armed suspect who they believe robbed two food trucks in the area on Monday.

The first robbery took place at approximately 6:30 p.m. when an unknown male entered the Halal food truck parked near the corner of 45th and Walnut Streets, armed with a black handgun, and demanded money. He took $500 and fled north on 45th Street toward Sansom. Surveillance video shows the suspect getting out of the passenger side and then getting back into a black sedan parked near the corner of 45th and Sansom.  Continue Reading

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DA candidates in West Philly for forum on Thursday

Posted on 15 March 2017

The seven candidates running for District Attorney are scheduled to attend a forum in West Parkside on Thursday (March 16) from 9-11 a.m.

Candidates Teresa Carr Deni, Tariq El-Shabazz, Beth Grossman, Joe Khan, Lawrence Krasner, Rich Negrin, and Michael Untermeyer will discuss issues ranging from mass incarceration to police oversight at the Philadelphia Business and Technology Center (5070 Parkside Ave). The Business Association of West Parkside is sponsoring the forum.

Craig Ey, Editor-in-Chief of the Philadelphia Business Journal, will moderate the forum. This will be the first official event with all seven candidates present. Attendees will also have the chance to ask specific questions.  Continue Reading

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Landscaper job training, employment opportunity for West Philly residents

Posted on 14 March 2017

University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) continues offering job training and employment opportunities to West Philly residents. Now through March 24, WPSI is recruiting for a training program with Green City Works, University City District’s in-house landscaping operation.

WPSI 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. WPSI is seeking applicants with a track record of excellence in landscaping or related fields.

In addition to learning the skills needed to successfully connect to employment, program graduates are guaranteed an interview with the employer and receive a performance-based stipend during the training.

Interested applicants can visit to learn more about the program and submit an application, available under “Opportunities for Job Seekers.” Applications are also available here. Paper applications are available at First District Plaza, Suite 206 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The application deadline is March 24 at 5 p.m.

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Snow emergency to begin at 9 p.m. Monday (updated)

Posted on 13 March 2017

UPDATE (3/14/17, 1:20 p.m.): The snow emergency was lifted at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, and parking is again allowed on snow emergency routes.

Due to the anticipated winter storm a snow emergency will be in effect in Philadelphia beginning at 9 p.m. this evening, which means all the vehicles parked along streets designated as snow emergency routes should be moved. Enforcement, with ticketing and towing, will begin at midnight. Cars left on snow emergency routes will be moved to other parking spots to assist in snow plowing operations. If your car is moved, call 215-686-SNOW to find it (don’t call 911).

Here you can find more information about snow emergency routes and here is a map.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority has announced that they will not be enforcing meters or time limits on residential blocks during the snow emergency.

All trash and recycling collections will be suspended for Tuesday, March 14. If your collection day is Tuesday please hold your trash until the next week.  Continue Reading

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School district announces public school closings in anticipation of snowstorm (updated)

Posted on 13 March 2017

UPDATE (3/14/17): All School District of Philadelphia schools will be open on regular schedules on Wednesday, March 15.

The School District of Philadelphia has announced public school closings on Tuesday, March 14 ahead of the forecasted winter storm “Stella.” All after-school activities scheduled for Tuesday are canceled as well. All District early childhood centers and administrative offices will also be closed.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the greater Philadelphia area, in effect from 8 p.m. Monday to 4 p.m. Tuesday. Eight to twelve inches of snow are expected in the city.

Stay tuned for more snowstorm-related announcements.


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Tokens on their way out: SEPTA Key Card expands (see roll-out schedule)

Posted on 13 March 2017

Starting Monday, March 13, SEPTA customers can fully transition to paying for their rides with a Key Card (just tap and go!). SEPTA is expanding the Travel Wallet feature to Market-Frankford Line, Broad Street Line and major bus loop fare kiosks, and riders will be able to purchase a Key Card at fair kiosks and load it with money starting on the following dates at the following Market-Frankford Line stations in West Philly (Note: SEPTA Key Cards and Travel Wallet are already available at 69th Street Transportation Center and 1234 Market Street fare kiosks):

Tuesday, March 14

– 30th Street
– 34th Street

Wednesday, March 15

– 40th Street
– 52nd Street  Continue Reading

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What should be PPD’s policy on body cameras?

Posted on 10 March 2017

On Monday, March 13 at 1 p.m., Councilman Curtis Jones and the Philadelphia City Council Public Safety Committee will host a hearing on body-worn cameras in room 400 of City Hall (1401 John F Kennedy Blvd).

Upturn, a technology company that helps citizens understand law and policy, recently compiled a report card of body camera policies all over the country. According to their report, Philadelphia body cam policy allows officers to review footage before filing a statement; potentially limits the deletion of unflagged footage; doesn’t allow those filing police misconduct reports to view footage; and doesn’t cover the use of biometric technologies (like facial recognition) to identify individuals in footage. Additionally, there is room for improvement regarding footage tampering and unauthorized access because the policy doesn’t indicate if footage is audited or logged.  Continue Reading

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Old City’s Xi’an Sizzling Woks opens at 40th and Chestnut

Posted on 10 March 2017

The intersection of 40th and Chestnut Streets has seen some restaurant changes as of late, with Dim Sum House and Ekta opening a couple of months ago. Now, a brightly colored Xi’an Sizzling Woks BYOB has found a sprightly colored yellow, blue and red home on the southwest corner of the intersection where Saigon Cuisine used to be.

Craig LaBan described the flagship location in an Inquirer review back in 2013 as “this isn’t your dad’s old Cantonese chow mein joint. It isn’t his Hong Kong duck house, either. Or even your cool-kid friend’s latest Sichuan obsession.”

With adventurous menu items such as Chinese hamburger with minced pork, pita bread soaked in beef and lamb soup in addition to lamb kabob skewers, the restaurant puts on a fresh spin on Chinese cuisine. The menu also offers some interesting specials such as Smoked Tea Duck and a house noodle casserole.  Continue Reading

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Registration begins for Clark Park Youth Soccer’s spring season

Posted on 08 March 2017

Youth soccer returns to Clark Park this month. Registration has begun for Clark Park Youth Soccer League (CPYSL), a low-cost sports and recreation program of Friends of Clark Park that provides soccer instruction for children ages 5 to 11. The CPYSL spring season will begin on March 25 and will feature 90-minute sessions every Saturday through May 20.

Children are assigned to teams by age:

– Mornings (10:30 a.m.-Noon): ages 5 to 6.5 and ages 6.5 to 7
– Afternoons (Noon-1:30 p.m.): ages 8 to 9 and ages 10 to 11

Deadline for registration is March 20. Online registration is available here. Walk-in registration will be possible on Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the University of the Sciences, Rosenberger Hall (43rd and Woodland).  Continue Reading

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