Archive | September, 2012

Tiny circus at Go West!

September 30, 2012

Tangle Movement Arts was back with their “tinycircus” at the Go West! Craft Fest yesterday at The Woodlands cemetery. This saucy performance on the silks was a particular hit with the kids in attendance.





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Calico cat seen at 43rd and Baltimore

September 30, 2012

Photo by reader Clara Flores.

This cat was spotted in Clark Park “A” (43rd and Baltimore) on Friday afternoon and near the park,  on Saturday morning. It had a flea collar and, according to a neighbor who lives nearby, it’s been hanging around the area for the last few days.

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Third parklet installed in University City

September 28, 2012

More parklets are popping out around the University City area. Just recently, the University City District installed one on 44th Street between Spruce and Locust. A third parklet, although a little smaller (with just three tables), has emerged right next to recently opened Ramen Bar (4040 Locust Street).

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Adopt-a-Dog: Duke

September 27, 2012

Duke is a 1-2 year old Pit Bull type Terrier mix that is living in an overcrowded Philadelphia shelter. Luckily for him, he has acquired his very own volunteer who is helping him work on his basic obedience and manners while living in a kennel most of the day. While working with him, his volunteer has noticed that Duke might be an ideal dog for work with various dog sports such as Flyball, agility, dock diving, etc. Here are some basic stats about him.

1. He is VERY focused on toys and very motivated by playtime.
2. He is a natural retriever and neither hell nor high water will keep him from his tennis ball/toy. (For this reason he would do best in a home without toddlers or small children as he might very well knock them down in the pursuit of toys).
3. He handles distractions VERY well. He is not really interested in other dogs, but will exchange polite and friendly sniffs and tail wags before going about his business. Business that usually includes toys, fetching, etc. He has been exposed to other dogs, motorcycles, cars, traffic, noisy people, children, etc and still his focus on the ball is unwavering.
4. He’s an amazing catch and often jumps high into the air to catch a tennis ball and possibly a frisbee.
He has also been working with a weighted back pack and still shown an ability to effortlessly lift himself high into the air! He’s a pretty tall, slender dog and stands about 21 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 55lbs.
5. In addition to all of his sporting potential, Duke is pretty good in his crate and in the car. I would still recommend crating him in the car at first so he nor his cuteness will be a distraction to the driver.
He is also fairly interested in tug toys and would LOVE to engage with the ones that have tennis balls affixed to them (thus again would be PERFECT for learning flyball skills).

Please feel free to contact Lulu if you have any questions about Duke. She can be reached via

If you want to head in and meet him for yourself please visit him at:
111 West Hunting Park Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19140

Adoption hours: Monday – Friday 1PM – 8PM, Saturday – Sunday 10AM – 5PM.

Here’s a video of Duke fetching a ball:

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Your input is needed on school closures, the abolition of middle schools and school assignments during meeting Saturday

September 27, 2012

Students protest school closures last year (photo courtesy of the

Residents are invited to weigh in this Saturday on the School District of Philadelphia’s cost-cutting measures that will likely include dozens of school closures.

The School Reform Commission meeting on the District’s Facilities Master Plan at West Philadelphia High School (4901 Chestnut St.) will run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Residents will hear about the District’s plan to shutter up to 60 schools over the next few years to close a budget gap that could balloon to more than $1 billion.

Enrollment in the District has dropped 21 percent since 2003, leaving classrooms at many schools far below capacity. Enrollment in charter schools increased dramatically during that time span, taking students out of District-run facilities. In a report released last month, the Boston Consulting Group estimated that the District could close 40 to 50 schools by next year and another 15 or 20 over the next five years. District officials estimate that the closures could save as much as $35 million a year. The SRC is expected to announce next month which schools could be closed next year.

Closure decisions will be based on the condition of the school, its current capacity and the academic performance of its students.

Proposed closures will likely have a profound impact on schools in West Philly. Last year Drew Elementary near 38th and Powelton closed and its students were spread among other West Philly schools. The grade configuration at Alexander Wilson School, which the District has deemed is under-enrolled, will change from K-6 to K-5. The closure and changes have placed more pressure on other schools, including the Henry C. Lea (4700 Locust St.), Alaine Locke (4550 Haverford Ave.) and Samuel Powel (301 N. 36th St.) Schools. Enrollment issues are also a prime concern at Penn Alexander School (4209 Spruce St.).

But Saturday’s meeting is about more than just school closures. The District is also looking for resident input on a host of issues that will arise when schools start closing. Those range from getting rid of middle schools and making K-8 the only option to changing the way students are assigned to elementary schools. To record resident input at past meetings, the SRC has distributed devices that attendees click in response to a variety of questions.

For example, one question is:

“On a scale of 1 to 9, how important is it for 3rd graders to be able to walk to school?

Meeting participants can respond by pushing the appropriate button on the device. Click here for the full list of questions. Benjamin Herold from The Notebook and WHYY’s NewsWorks has a great story on the meetings earlier this week here.


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A bike robber strikes again

September 27, 2012

Just last week we published a story about a community activist being attacked by two robbers on bikes in the Cedar Park area and now we want to alert neighbors about a similar incident on Monday. A reader who asked not to be identified reported an attempted robbery that took place Monday night, at 9:10 p.m., at 50th and Warrington:

“I was walking home alone from the trolley when a young man, who had ridden past me twice already on his bike, rode past again when I turned a corner that was more isolated, and accelerated on his bike, and grabbed my purse as he went by my left side. He did not get it and eventually let go, and kept riding.”

The reader, a female, filed a police report immediately after the incident. She believes that the suspect was scoping the 34 trolley for victims like herself.

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