Archive | August, 2014

West Philly weekend: Back to School Basketball Challenge, Pagan Pride Day, outdoor concerts

August 29, 2014

Yes, we know it’s the Labor Day weekend and many of you will head out of town or to the Parkway for the Made in America Festival. But those of you who will stay in West Philly might want to check out the events below, all happening on Saturday, Aug. 30. Have a great weekend!

BasketballChallenge• The Ultimate Back 2 School Basketball Challenge will be held at the Kingsessing Recreation Center, 4901 Kingsessing Ave, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The goal of the tournament is to collect school supplies for local schoolchildren. The event is hosted by State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and a group of other locally elected officials will be there, including Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, and Rep. James Roebuck. This is a free event, but all attendees are asked to bring a school supply to donate. Sixteen basketball teams will represent 16 West Philly schools and the winning team will then donate all of the collected school supplies from the tournament to their selected school. Approximately 20 vendors will be offering food, free beverages and resource information. More details can be found here.

paganprideday• If you want to learn more about the Pagan community and their beliefs, come to Clark Park at 43rd and Baltimore this Saturday, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to celebrate Pagan Pride Day. The festival, which is intended to bring together Heathens and Pagans of all traditions, will feature a wide array of vendors, workshops, and entertainment. Project Wendigo is the musical act that will be performing at the event. Doug Stafford, a juggler, illusionist, and otherwise awesome performer is also on the entertainment lineup, according to the organizers. Workshops begin at 11 a.m. The event is free but the organizers are asking to bring a nonperishable food item to benefit the Mazzoni Center’s food bank, or a make a monetary donation to one of the festival beneficiaries. Visit the Pagan Pride Day website for more details, list of vendors, and schedule of events.

StoogesBrassBandThe Stooges Brass Band from New Orleans is a headline performer at a Saturday afternoon concert organized by City Tap House in collaboration with the production team from The Blockley. This is the second and last concert in the August outdoor concert series (the first one was held last Saturday). The concert will take place outside of City Tap House at 39th and Walnut from 3 – 8 p.m.. New Sound Brass Band (from the Mummers community) will also perform. Admission is $15 and tickets can be purchased here. 21+

40thStsummerseries• The University City District and The Rotunda invite all residents to the next free outdoor music concert in the 40th Street Summer Concert Series this Saturday. As always, the event will be held on the green lawn behind the Walnut Street West Library (40th and Walnut) starting at 6 p.m. Nation Beat and The Highwater Preachers (Facebook page) will be performing. Also, there will be ice cream vendors and entertainment for kids. The last concert in the 2014 series will be held on Sept. 27. Click here fore more info.


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2014 Clark Park Film Series concludes Friday with 5 Broken Cameras

August 28, 2014


5 Broken Cameras flyer in Clark Park.

The 2014 Clark Park Summer Film Series, which brings documentary and other independent film screenings into the park’s bowl near 45th and Regent, concludes Friday, Aug. 29. 5 Broken Cameras, the winner of the World Documentary Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and Academy Award nominee for the best documentary feature, will be screened, starting at 7:30 p.m.

The film, shot almost entirely by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, portrays non-violent resistance in the West Bank (see trailer below).

This is an outdoor screening, free and open to the public. Bring your chairs, blankets and popcorn!

A few other great events are scheduled in the area this weekend. Clark Park will host Pagan Pride Day on Saturday and there will be a couple of live music concerts. More info is coming soon.


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Philly Future Track program open to young unemployed adults

August 28, 2014

FutureTrackPhiladelphia Streets Department is seeking young adults, who are not enrolled in higher education and are unemployed, for its paid job-skill training and real-world work program called Philly Future Track. Applications are currently being accepted for the program’s third session, tentatively scheduled to begin on Monday, Sept. 15.

Throughout the six-month program, participants will work in teams to clean and beautify Philadelphia’s streets, while completing an educational program to improve their skills for future job prospects. Although it is a temporary employment opportunity, the program is designed to provide career readiness to its participants. The young people enrolled in the program receive enough resources and education to transition into full time employment, attend a two or four year higher education institution, enter into a vocational training program or school or be prepared to take the military aptitude test.

To qualify, applicants must be a Philadelphia resident and eligible to work in the U.S. To benefit the most from the program, applicants should be between 18-24 years old.

Completed applications must be submitted in the Philly Future Track drop box located in the first floor lobby of the Municipal Services Building (1401 JFK Boulevard, across from City Hall). Applications are accepted by 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12.

To download your Philly Future Track application and for more information, visit:

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Armed men break into, rob fraternity house near 42nd and Baltimore

August 28, 2014


Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity house. (Photo West Philly Local)

Police are searching for two armed men who forced their way into and robbed a fraternity house at 42nd and Pine near 42nd and Baltimore Wednesday morning at around 2 a.m.

The fraternity members in the house, the University of Sciences students, were hosting a birthday party at the time, NBC10 reports. Students at Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity house answered a knock on the door. The gunmen ordered the students to the ground, took cash – much of the fraternity’s newly collected dues from a safe in the house – and fled, according to police. One of the students was also attacked during the invasion as he told NBC10.

Penn and the University of Sciences planned to issue safety alerts to their students today.

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SEPTA announces new Fall schedules; Made in America Festival service info

August 27, 2014

SEPTA has announced changes and adjustments to bus, subway, and trolley schedules that come into effect on Sunday, Aug. 31 – Tuesday, Sept. 2. The changes address routing changes and timetable improvements. Major adjustments include the Route 11 and 13 trolleys. Both routes will resume regular service on Sunday, Aug. 31. Shuttle service had been in effect over the summer to accommodate a rail replacement project in Southwest Philadelphia and Darby Township.

Most of the other route schedule changes address minor timetable improvements aimed at improving customer service and account for seasonal changes in ridership, according to SEPTA’s press release. All passengers are advised to pick up new schedules now available at SEPTA service locations. You can also view and print the new schedules on SEPTA’s website.

As the city prepares for the big Labor Day weekend, SEPTA has released information on available services and rerouting during the Made in America Festival, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 30-31). Due to planned street closures around the Parkway, SEPTA Bus Routes 7, 32, 33, 38, 43, and 48 will be detoured before, during, and immediately following the event. Subway weekend service will operate Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings with additional trains on both lines. Trolleys will also operate in the tunnel on Sunday evening. For more information, go to this page.

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Walnut Hill Playground eager to connect with local community

August 27, 2014


Walnut Hill Community Playground. (Photos by Selah Lynch / West Philly Local)

At the corner of Sansom and 47th sits Walnut Hill Community Playground, a park with a long and varied history. It was built in the 1970s and used for decades, but in early 2009 an inspector declared it unsafe and recommended it be closed. In response, residents organized a complete rebuild. This culminated on August 6th 2009 when 373 volunteers came together for one day to finish the park. Today the park is home to playground equipment, including a spiral slide, monkey bars and swings. It is surrounded by benches and picnic tables and shaded by mature Japanese Pagoda trees. One patron, Jacki, whose three kids were playing in the park said, “I’m so grateful for this place. I live in the projects but I like to take my kids down here where it is safe.”

While many residents are thrilled about the park, some residents have been confused about the hours. According to the Walnut Hill Community Association (WHCA), which maintains the playground, they adhere to the following hours: M-F 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-8 p.m. But local mom, Maggie Gummere said, “I’ve walked by a few times on a Saturday or a Sunday and the park has been closed.” This disappoints her because, as she adds, “It looks like so much fun.” Another mother blogs, the hours are “marked ‘9 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days,’ but it’s been closed several Sunday mornings.”

The WHCA says that they lock the playground outside of daylight hours to maintain a safe and healthy atmosphere. Currently, responsibility for the park falls on the shoulders of very few. Walnut Hill residents Lydia Connolly and Teresa Leedie lock, unlock and monitor the park. Resident Horace Patterson, WHCA President, takes responsibility for cleaning and emptying the trash.

Lorna Peterson, a Walnut Hill resident for 24 years and WHCA vice president, says that one thing parents can do for the park is simply to use it and help maintain a positive adult presence. She also adds, “anyone who is interested in using, maintaining or chaperoning the park, we encourage them to join the community association.” The next meeting is at 6 p.m. on September 25th at the Enterprise Center at 4548 Market Street. Alternatively, people can contact the association at 215-472-1381 or walnuthillevents [at]

Selah Lynch


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