Archive | August, 2013

Adopt Bubbles and Noah

August 31, 2013


Bubbles and Noah.

Bubbles the Calico and Noah the gentle white cat are best of friends. They’re currently being fostered through Project Meow, a West Philly cat rescue organization. Alas, due to all the cute kittens for adoption no one is interested in adopting two super cuddly adult kitties. If you’re looking for two great companions that won’t climb your drapes or total your lamps, please consider adopting these cats. To find out how to adopt this ready-made family, please email:

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Three shot outside The Watusi Lounge at 46th and Walnut

August 31, 2013

watusi photoThree people were shot outside of The Watusi bar at 46th and Walnut early Saturday morning.

NBCPhiladelphia is reporting that two women and a man were shot during an argument that began inside the bar at about 1 a.m. Two women, ages 21 and 24, were grazed by bullets. A 24-year-old man is in critical condition after being shot in the abdomen. A neighbor who lives near the lounge, which has seen gun violence in the past, said that a total of six shots were fired.

“This is the second time this has happened in the past six months,” the neighbor, who asked not to be named, said. “I can’t believe that somewhere where people are bringing concealed loaded weapons is allowed to stay open and face no scrutiny.”

Shots were fired at about the same time on April 26. No one was injured in that incident.

Neighbors have complained about noise and violence at Watusi Lounge and Watusi II at 45th and Locust in the past. The Watusi II was the subject of a community meeting last week to address the dozens of community complaints. The University City Review reported that piles of evidence were presented about everything from drug use at the bar to it serving patrons well after the 2 a.m. closing time.

Despite the complaints and tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes, owner Noel Karasanyi has been able to keep both establishments open.

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A couple of cool (and free!) outdoor events this Saturday

August 30, 2013

Here’s something to do in the hood tomorrow (Saturday, Aug 31), without having to spend a dime. You can bring your blankets, chairs and food & drinks to both events listed below.

  • pridePhiladelphia Pagan Pride Day, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Clark Park “B” (43rd & Chester) – Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day will bring together Heathens and Pagans of all traditions. This family-friendly event will feature vendors and entertainment for a day of fun to foster pride in Pagan identity through education, activism, charity, and community. A donation of a non-perishable food item will be appreciated (it will go to a local food bank). Here’s the event’s Facebook page:


  • SpaceshipAloha240th Street Summer Series presents Spaceship Aloha, 6-9 p.m., 40th and Walnut (behind the Walnut West Library) – Spaceship Aloha is the vibrant new sonic move from Man Man drummer/producer Christopher Sean Powell. Spaceship Aloha’s performances, which are intended for non-stop dancing, present “a kaleidoscope of lush melodies and joyous electronic rhythms inspired by Hawaii’s musical landscape.” For more information, visit the 40th Street Summer Series Facebook page.

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Philly Fringe Arts Festival kicks off next Friday; West Philly events highlighted

August 30, 2013

UPDATED 8/30/13, 5 P.M.: The much anticipated Philly Fringe Arts Festival kicks off next Friday (Sept 5), and this year’s foray into contemporary performing and visual arts is expected not to disappoint. And, as always, area folks won’t have to walk far to experience the eccentric arts as many of Fringe’s events take place within the boundaries of West Philly and University City. Below is a list of shows in no particular order being held in the neighborhood (for a full listing, visit the Live Arts/Fringe Festival website). We’ll update the list with more events as we get more information.

Alternative Theater Festival by iNtuitons Experiment Theatre Company on Sept. 7, 7 p.m. at the Platt Student Performing Arts House. Alternative Theater Festival is a collection of five short plays directed and written by University of Pennsylvania students touching on themes of unrequited love, mental illness, loneliness, infertility, and self-discovery.

Jonatha Brooke

WXPN presents My Mother Has Four Noses on Sept. 11, 8 p.m. at World Café Live. Singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke performs her one-woman musical about her mother’s final years battling Alzheimer’s.

Bricolage by Megan Lynn/Asterial Dance, Caite Cuan Dance on Sept. 7, 8 p.m. at Community Education Center. New York-based dance companies Catie Cuan Dance and Megan Lynn/Asterial Dance premiere four original Philadelphia dances inspired by everything from Yeats’s Byzantium to the human experience.

Celebrating Dance by Dancefusion & 360º Dance Company on Sept. 6, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m.; Sept. 7, 3 p.m. & 6 p.m. at Mandell Theater at Drexel University. Dancefusion and New York’s 360º Dance Company co-present two performances that combine historic modern and contemporary dance work. Dancefusion celebrates 25 years this year.  Continue Reading

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Back to School giveaways this weekend

August 30, 2013

bookbaggiveawayHere’s a reminder that there will be a Back to School celebration and book bag giveaway on Sunday, Sept 1, at Malcolm X. Park (51st and Pine). The event will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Community volunteers will help to distribute donated book bags filled with schools supplies and clothing to over 300 local children. The event is organized by The Nehemiah Davis Foundation (NDF). During the event, NDF will also provide entertainment, free food and haircuts for all of the families who attend.

On Saturday (Aug 31), Bible Way Baptist Church located at 1323 N. 52nd St is having a Back to School Giveaway. Families with kids who need school supplies are welcome to this event. The giveaway starts at noon and goes until supplies last. For questions, call (215) 477 0778 or email:

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Penn Alexander wait list abolished; parents asked to contact school (updated)

August 30, 2013


Penn Alexander School (archive photo).

UPDATE (8/29/13, 8:32 a.m.): District spokesman Fernando Gallard said that the wait list will expire each June 30, according to the Daily Pennsylvanian. So students on the list before July 1 will retain their spot. Letters should be going out soon, he said. Gallard’s explanation of the new policy is not consistent with what some parents who have contacted the school have been told. Further clarification will be needed and Penn Alexander’s School Advisory Council will take up the issue in the fall. Basically, our original  suggestion still stands: If you are enrolling a student this year, call the school.

UPDATE (8/28/13, 9:30 a.m.): We asked the chair of the School Advisory Committee Terrilyn McCormick about the new process at Penn Alexander School and whether the school is contacting parents directly to let them know about the new policy. Here are her responses: 

“It’s really not clear. I’m going to work with the SAC in September to make it more clear. People need to contact the school right now.”

(8/27/13, 6:00 p.m.): The School District of Philadelphia has changed the admission policy for the Penn Alexander School two weeks before school is due to start, according to the chair of the School Advisory Committee.

Effective this month the school will no longer recognize the previous year’s wait list for spots in grades 1-8, Terrilyn McCormick told West Philly Local in an e-mail. McCormick said that parents who were on the wait list should contact the school immediately (215-823-5465).

Penn Alexander’s wait list for the lower grades, many of which are at capacity, had become controversial in the past couple of years. Parents often complained that the process of getting on the list was not transparent. The District has apparently agreed.

Penn Alexander’s lower grades, particularly grades 1-3, have become difficult to enter, particularly for students who are new to its catchment area or were not admitted to school’s kindergarten. Students from the kindergarten are automatically admitted to first grade, but the school is not obligated to take students from its catchment area once its classes are at capacity, according to the District.

In January the District instituted a lottery for kindergarten admission after students lined up outside the school in frigid temperatures four days before registration was scheduled to begin.

Mike Lyons

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