Archive | February, 2018

National Endowment for the Arts grant supports 2018 Lancaster Avenue Jazz Festival

February 28, 2018

Jaleel Shaw’s Band performed at the 11th Annual Lancaster Ave Jazz & Arts Festival in July 2017. (Photo by Kevin Smith)

Come July, the Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival, a great summer tradition in the Powelton neighborhood, will return to Saunders Park. The National Endowment for the Arts has recently announced that it will support this year’s festival with a Challenge America grant of $10,000.

The NEA has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of its first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. The Challenge America category features NEA support for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations – those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability, according to the announcement.  Continue Reading

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Rosa’s Fresh Pizza near 40th and Market offers free pizza to those in need

February 27, 2018

Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, the no-frills dollar-slice pizza shop, opened its second location this month on 40th between Ludlow and Market. Rosa’s is the brainchild of businessman Mason Wartman, whose claim to fame is appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about his restaurant’s wall of pay-it-forward post-it notes. Each post-it represents a slice of pizza purchased by someone to feed the city’s homeless population, and anyone who can’t afford to buy food for themselves can take a post-it off of the wall and trade it for a slice at the counter.

Rosa’s original location, in Center City near Jefferson Hospital at 11th and Ludlow, serves free slices to 50-100 customers a day. A person behind the counter at the new University City location who declined to give his name said that they had “some” people taking advantage of the free slices, but not as many as 30 or 40. “I guess people just haven’t heard yet,” he explained.  Continue Reading

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Information session Monday on schools governance transition from state to city

February 23, 2018

Five community organizations are hosting an information session on Monday, Feb. 26 about the transition of governance of the School District of Philadelphia from the state back to the city.

Otis Hackney of the Mayor’s Office of Education will be a featured speaker.

The School Reform Commission voted in November to abolish itself, beginning the end of 17 years of state control of the district. The Mayor’s Office is now tasked with assembling a Board of Education, a multi-step process that will be explained in more detail at Monday’s meeting.

The event is hosted by Cedar Park Neighbors, Cobbs Creek Neighbors, Garden Court Community Association, Spruce Hill Community Association and Walnut Hill Community Association.

The information session will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Calvary Center for Culture and Community (48th and Baltimore). The regular monthly Cedar park Neighbors board meeting will follow from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Learn more about homeowners’ taxes and new tax laws at two community events

February 22, 2018

The tax season is underway, and we recently reported on free community-based tax preparation and filing sites helping working families and individuals in the area. There will also be a free tax workshop for homeowners next week at the Blackwell Library (52nd and Sansom). The workshop will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and will cover property tax programs, EITC, and other topics. The workshop is presented by the Enterprise Center.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., State Rep. James Roebuck will host an event to inform constituents about the updated tax laws. A local tax firm will be on hand to review the new tax laws, how they apply to constituents, and what they may be able to do now and in the future concerning their taxes. This event will take place at the Calvary Center (801 S. 48th St).

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Couple robbed, assaulted by three people sitting on stoop on 4500 block of Osage

February 21, 2018

Police have provided details about a robbery and assault on Monday night in the Spruce Hill neighborhood.

The victims, a couple, were walking on the 4500 block of Osage Avenue at approximately 9:50 p.m. when they passed three people, one female and two males, sitting on a stoop. As the victims passed, the suspects pushed the female victim, then took her purse and began punching the other victim, according to police. The victims ran, and the suspects fled eastbound on Osage Avenue in an older model green Chevrolet sedan, according to police.

One victim was reportedly injured in the assault, but is expected to be okay.  Continue Reading

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What do I do with this animal I found?

February 20, 2018

One of the most common kind of questions on West Philadelphia-local mailing lists, forums and Facebook communities has to do with what to do about lost, stray or injured animals. Here are some official resources that can help if you find one of those animals and want to help:

If you find a lost or stray dog, cat, or other household pet, ACCT (Animal Care and Control Team) Philadelphia are the most likely to be able to take a found animal. You can visit for more information. Make sure to fill out the ACCT Found Pet Report: If you can’t keep the animal until its family can be located, ACCT will accept it at their central location. They are not a no-kill shelter.  Continue Reading

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