UPDATE: 13-year-old Hanniya Mitchell, who went missing on Monday morning, found safe

October 20, 2015


Hanniya Mitchell (photo from Philly Police Blog).

UPDATE (10/21/2015, 8:35 a.m.): 13-year-old Hanniya Mitchell, who had been missing since Monday morning, was found safe, according to police.

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a 13-year-old West Philadelphia resident, Hanniya Mitchell. Hanniya was last seen around 6:30 a.m. on Monday, leaving her residence on the 400 block of S. 62nd Street. She attends the Bryant Elementary School, located at 6001 Cedar Ave., however she hasn’t attended school since she was reported missing.

Hanniya is 4 feet, 6 inches tall, weighs 115lbs, with brown eyes, medium build, dark brown complexion, and black wavy shoulder length hair. She was last seen wearing a blue Polo shirt, khaki pants, gold jacket with fur, and red sneakers.

Anyone with information on Hanniya’s whereabouts, please contact Southwest Detective Division at 215-686-3183 / 3184 or call 911.


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Life on the block: Two exhibitions show us the best of city life

October 13, 2015


Well-known West Philly based photographer Lori Waselchuk has spent the last couple of years hanging out with block captains, attending block parties and photographing the people that hold streets and neighborhoods together.

You can get an intimate look at the results of that work at two exhibitions that open this Friday. Block Party is an exhibition of Waselchuk’s newest work connected with her multimedia project Them That Do.

Lisa Barkley, Haddington Homes, 5500 Vine Street

West Philly block captain Lisa Barkley (Photo by Lori Waselchuk).

For Windowishes, Waselchuk teamed up with six block captains for an installation in the storefront display windows on the west side of South 40th Street between Chestnut and Ludlow. Waselchuk and her collaborators – block leaders and captains Lisa Barkely, Mary Campbell, Carol Dubie, Freda Egnal, Elizabeth Waring, and Renée McBride-Williams – installed “a small environment in each of the bay windows inspired by their community stewardship and neighborhood histories,” according to Waselchuk.

The result is seven stand-alone exhibits that invite us into the life of a single block. For example, the children of Dubie’s block on South 46th Street made flags for her display, “Legends of the Block.” Teens from Waring’s block of Powelton Avenue helped design and construct a four-foot tree for her display, “Our Trees.”

A whole bunch of community organizations came together for this one. Local cabinet maker and carpenter Gordon Richardson of Oberholtzer Custom Cabinetry donated labor, materials and expertise. Community organizations such as the University City Arts League and the Spruce Hill Community Association also supported the project.

So come have a look and celebrate the launch of both exhibits on Friday, Oct. 16 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the AIRSpace Gallery (4007 Chestnut St.).

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“Don’t I look like a nice lady? Well I’m not.”: Jessica is sick of your off-the-leash dog at The Woodlands

September 30, 2015


Jessica at ease at The Woodlands. She doesn’t like your dog as much as you do. Photo by Lori Waselchuk.

The tension between those who walk their dogs off-leash at The Woodlands and those who wish they wouldn’t is kind of the west-of-the-Schuylkill version of the Hatfields and the McCoys, Liam and Noel Gallagher, Biggie and Tupac. That may be overstating it slightly, but it’s kind of a big deal to many who frequent the cemetery/park.

Jessica, a West Philly yoga instructor and blogger, has had it. In “An Open Letter to People Who Let Their Dogs Off-Leash at Woodlands Cemetery,” she draws a line in the dirt. “I was once a vicious 13-year old girl,” she writes. “And given the right situation, she can return.”

Jessica originally posted this on her site, but has graciously allowed us to repost it here:  Continue Reading

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Help West Philly falconer find her missing hawk

September 14, 2015

hawk3Courtney Douds, a falconer living in West Philadelphia, is looking for her missing bird, a red-tailed hawk (pictured). The bird lived behind a row home in an outdoor aviary, and sometime on Sunday her tethers broke and she flew out.

“While she is fully capable of surviving in the wild, I am predictably distraught,” Courtney wrote in an e-mail. “The bird is a red-tailed hawk, and she’s wearing very loud bells (that don’t interfere with her ability to catch food for herself) that can be heard from quite a distance away.”

So if you hear bells above you or see a red-tailed hawk wearing bells please let Courtney know of the bird’s general whereabouts. Please don’t try to catch the hawk, Courtney says, and it’s unlikely she will come down to anyone. But narrowing down the range of where the bird might have flown to might help Courtney recover her. By the way, Courtney is one of three falconers living in Philadelphia County.

If you spot the hawk, please email: courtney.douds[at]

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6-year-old neighbor hosting ongoing ‘Super Duper’ food drive in Clark Park

August 25, 2015

elliottSix-year-old Elliott is in Clark Park every Wednesday to collect canned goods and other non-perishables for Philadelphians in need. His ongoing “Super-Duper Food Drive,” which benefits Philabundance, started in early August, and the response so far has been great. This Wednesday, Elliott will be in Clark Park at 43rd and Chester from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for his 4th collection, so everyone is welcome to swing by and bring a donation. High-priority items are:

• Jelly, jams or preserves;
• Miscellaneous shelf-stable proteins (peanut butter, beans, canned stews, or chili);
• Pasta, rice, & dry mixes;
• Breakfast foods (hot & cold cereals, bars, & oatmeal)

Elliott plans to host many more events throughout the year, according to his mom Jennifer. “We’d like to get others involved, especially kids,” she writes. “Elliott wanted to fill my empty coffee cans with food + water for those in need, so this is our compromise: an ongoing food drive to benefit Philabundance.”

For more information on Elliott’s Super-Duper Food Drive check out this Facebook page.

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Kevin Bacon challenges you to win $5,000 for design interventions in Promise Zone neighborhoods

August 14, 2015

KevinBaconAs you may know, actor Kevin Bacon’s father, Edmund Bacon, was born in West Philadelphia and was a renowned architect and Philadelphia city planner. Kevin and his brother, well-known musician Michael Bacon, are encouraging both students and professionals to be part of the 2016 Better Philadelphia Challenge with a chance to win $5,000. The annual urban design competition was founded in 2006 in memory of Ed Bacon.

The 2016 competition focuses on the Mantua/Belmont section of West Philadelphia, which was designated as a “Promise Zone” by President Obama.

“As part of this neighborhood’s development, what physical design interventions could encourage healthy and active lifestyles, thereby improving public health among residents?” reads the competition announcement.  Continue Reading

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