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Mural unveiling (and food and music) for esteemed journalist, West Philly native Ed Bradley (updated)

May 17, 2018

The Ed Bradley mural at 949 Belmont Ave. (Photo by Steve Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia).

UPDATE: The event has been postponed until Saturday, June 16 due to the weather.

Mural Arts Philadelphia will unveil a new piece honoring journalist and West Philly native Ed Bradley on Saturday, May 19 June 16 at noon at the intersection of Belmont and Wyalusing Streets (949 Belmont St.).

Bradley was best known as a reporter for some 26 years on 60 Minutes. He was the first Black television correspondent to cover the White House and won dozens of awards during his career. That career in journalism began at Philadelphia radio station WDAS. Bradley had also been a public school teacher in Philadelphia, soon after he graduated from Cheyney University.

Bradley died in 2006 at age 65 of complications from lymphocytic leukemia.  Continue Reading

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West Philly incumbents win in May 15 primary election

May 16, 2018

The 2018 primary election results are in, and there are no surprises this year for West Philly Democratic candidates.

Incumbent Jim Roebuck beat his opponents, lawyer Jeff Curry and the president of the Kingsessing Area Civic Association Diane Settles, for the State House of Representatives District 188 seat, which includes parts of Spruce Hill, Squirrel Hill, Walnut Hill, Spruce Hill, Garden Court, Beige Block and University City. Roebuck received 56.17 percent of total votes, according to Philly Election Results, the website reporting unofficial election results.

Vanessa Lowery Brown, the incumbent seeking her fifth term in the State House of Representatives, District 190, which includes parts of Cobbs Creek, Belmont, Carroll Park, Cathedral Park, Mill Creek, Haddington, East Parkside, West Powelton, Allegheny West and Lehigh West, beat her opponents Raymond H. Bailey and Wanda Logan. Brown received 64.92 percent of total votes, according to Philly Election Results.

Candidates Joanna McClinton (District 191) and Morgan Cephas (District 192) were running unopposed.

For more election results, including the results by ward and division, go here.

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New reading series at Dock Street Cannery Lounge to showcase local writers

March 14, 2018

A new reading series is launching this Thursday (March 15) at the Dock Street Cannery + Lounge (705 S. 50th St), and this is a great chance to meet some talented Philadelphia-based writers.

The event is hosted by West Philly authors Matt Jakubowski and Christine Kendall and showcases writers Ru Freeman, Emma Copley Eisenberg and Marc Anthony Richardson who will be reading from their work. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for drinks and snacks; the readings start at 7 p.m. Come early to secure a seat! Books will be available for sale during the event, provided by Bindlestiff Books.

Here’s some more information about the writers from the event organizers:

Ru Freeman is the author of the novels A Disobedient Girl and On Sal Mal Lane, a New York Times Editor’s Choice Book. She is the editor of the ground-breaking anthology, Extraordinary Rendition: American Writers on Palestine. Her writing appears internationally in the UK Guardian, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe. She blogs for The Huffington Post on literature and politics, is a contributing editorial board member of the Asian American Literary Review, and is the recipient of many fellowships including from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the Lannan Foundation. Ru teaches creative writing at Columbia University.  Continue Reading

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Spruce Hill community leader Mark Wagenveld passes away at 73

January 30, 2018

Mark Wagenveld photographed in Clark Park in 2011 (Photo from Spruce Hill Community Association Facebook page).

UPDATE (2/1/2018): A memorial service for Mark Wagenveld will be held on Saturday, Feb. 17 at Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church at 412 Pine St. Visitation will be from 9:45-10:45 a.m., with a service to follow at 11 a.m.

Longtime Spruce Hill community leader and retired Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Mark Wagenveld passed away on Saturday at the age of 73.

We got to know Mark in his role as president of the Spruce Hill Community Association and a mentor of sorts who took an interest in West Philly Local soon after we began publishing in 2010. He always had solid news tips and words of encouragement for us.

We also know him as the driving force behind the May Fair in Clark Park and the Halloween Parade. Mark became active in community work soon after his retirement from the Inquirer in 2005, according to Barry Grossbach, his friend and colleague in the Spruce Hill Community Association.

“Sometimes we don’t fully appreciate a person’s contribution or importance while they are around,” Grossbach wrote. “Not so with Mark. Everyone knew what he did and what he meant to our community. And everyone will be the poorer for his absence.”  Continue Reading

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West Philly lawyer Jeff Curry to run for State Representative in the 188th District

January 3, 2018

Lawyer and West Philadelphia resident Jeff Curry announced this week that he is running for state representative in Pennsylvania’s 188th district as a Democrat in the May 15 primary. The announcement was made on Jan. 1 at the University City Arts League, where he addressed the crowd of over one hundred and fifty supporters, according to a press release.

The seat has been held by State Rep. James Roebuck since 1985.

Curry has been a resident of this district for the last decade. He and his wife Angela first moved to the district in 2007 to start and raise a family in the community. A father of three young children, Curry is running for office because he feels “Harrisburg does not reflect his family’s values of hard work, respect others, and equality and fairness for all.”  Continue Reading

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Elderly man with dementia missing from VA Medical Center (39th and Woodland)

December 31, 2017

Police are asking for the public’s assistance to locate an endangered missing person. Edward Sojourner, 66, went missing from VA Medical Center located on the 3900 block of Woodland Avenue on Saturday, Dec. 30, at around 10:40 p.m. Police say Mr. Sojourner, who suffers from dementia, is a patient at the facility and left it without permission.

Mr. Sojourner lives on the 5200 block of N. 6th Street but he was not found at that location, according to police.

He is 5 feet 11 inches and weighs 198 pounds. He was wearing white Converse shoes and a beige, knee-length jacket. Anyone with information about this missing person is urged to call Southwest Detectives at 215-686-3183.

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