Stories emerge about victims in Friday night shooting spree (updated)

September 20, 2016


                Shooting victim Sara Salih

While the man whose shooting rampage had parts of West Philly in fear on Friday night expressed a hatred for police, the bullets he fired did far more damage to innocent people in the neighborhood.

Stories have emerged about other victims, including 25-year-old Sara Salih. She was killed when shooter Nicholas Glenn began firing shots at random bystanders as he fled after firing 18 shots at a police officer at 52nd and Sansom. Police later killed Glenn in a shootout near 48th and Sansom.

Salih’s father, an Ethiopian immigrant who heard the shots that killed his daughter, talked to Philadelphia Inquirer Sam Wood about the tragedy.

UPDATE: Sara’s friends have created a GoFundMe page to help her family.

The Inquirer‘s Stephanie Farr reported the story of Martice Washington, a bouncer at Maximum Level Lounge near 52nd and Sansom (one of his three jobs) who was shot in both legs. Washington has two children and is married to a Philadelphia police officer, according to reports. Continue Reading

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Ice Cave brings its cool desserts to Baltimore Ave

September 8, 2016


Ice Cave owner Po Chang and dessert chef Jessica Wang (Photo by Rana Fayez/West Philly Local)

People of West Philadelphia, you no longer have to travel to Chinatown for Taiwanese shaved ice treats. Ice Cave has opened at 4507 Baltimore Ave next to Atiya Ola’s and The Nesting House.

This is only one of a number of new businesses opening up on Baltimore Ave this year. Flavors such as strawberry, matcha, coffee, peanut and mango are on the menu with toppings like mango, kiwi and berries. If shaved ice is not your thing the shop also sells some of its flavors in a popsicle format.

Owner Po Chang graduated from Drexel in 2012 but decided to stay in West Philadelphia after earning his degree in Public Health. His dessert chef, Jessica Wang, was trained in Taiwan for five years in the craft of shaved ice.

If you like cold treats for breakfast, you may be out of luck. The shop is open 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturday. On Fridays it closes at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m.

Not sure if you’re into it? Come out to the Dollar Stroll tonight to try it, the shop will be selling sample sizes for $1.

Rana Fayez

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Penn Alexander student’s artwork a creative clean water reminder at 42nd and Spruce

August 22, 2016

Street art

Lamees’s work turned into street art (Photo by West Philly Local).

You may have recently noticed the artwork of Penn Alexander student Lamees Abou-Hatab on the northwest corner of 42nd and Spruce.

Literally on the corner.

Lamees’s art work is a creative reminder that what you dump in the street drains will find its way into rivers and streams. Her work was chosen as part of a student art contest hosted by the Philadelphia Water Department and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and was turned into street art over the summer. Lamees is heading into 7th grade this year. Congrats to her!  Continue Reading

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New Rabbi and Torah School Director at Kol Tzedek

August 5, 2016


The new rabbi at Kol Tzedek, Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari (Photo courtesy of Kol Tzedek.)

Kol Tzedek, the reconstructionist synagogue based at the Calvary Center for Culture and Community on Baltimore Avenue, has a new rabbi, Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari, and a new Torah school director, Rabbi Michelle Greenfield. Their first services will be this Saturday, Aug. 6.

A New York native, Fornari has served as director of the Boston-area Jewish Education Program and as a part-time prison chaplain. He was ordained from the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. As a student, he spent two years working at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST) in New York, teaching, preaching, and providing pastoral care for congregants.

The synagogue’s search committee chair, Rob Auritt, told the Jewish Exponent that Fornari, who is transgender, has a “singular ability to engage people of all levels of Jewish experience and previous participation in organized Judaism, people of all sexual orientations and gender expressions, and those committed to anti-racism and to a multiracial Jewish civilization.”

Fornari replaces Kol Tzedek’s founding rabbi, Lauren Grabelle Hermann, who left for a position at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism in New York.  Continue Reading

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Black Orchid Foods co-owner hurt in house fire

July 13, 2016

We’re sad to report that Robyn Biv, co-owner of Black Orchid Foods (Facebook page), the West Philly vegetarian and vegan catering service, was recently hurt in a house fire.

A fire erupted in her home near 51st and Kingsessing that destroyed her kitchen – where her business is based. Robyn suffered burns and was hospitalized. She has made a huge impact on the Kingsessing area by feeding many people for free or using a “sliding scale” with dietary restrictions always in mind. Some of you may have also tried the food served by Black Orchid at the most recent edition of Go West! Craft Fest.

While Robyn is recovering in the hospital from burns to her face, eyes, arms and hands, her friends set up a GoFundMe page to help her with some expenses.

Please follow this link if you would like to donate and support Robyn with your messages:

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USciences names new president

June 28, 2016

katz_paulThe university’s Board of Trustees has named a new president, 18 months after the previous University of the Sciences president, Helen Giles-Gee, stepped down.

Dr. Paul Katz will serve as the university’s 25th president, according to an announcement by Board Chairman Marvin Samson. Katz, who has served as founding dean of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU), will begin his presidency on September 1, 2016.

“Over the course of more than 40 years in healthcare and higher education, Dr. Paul Katz has gained invaluable experience and has demonstrated skilled and visionary leadership, which will be a tremendous benefit to University of the Sciences,” Samson said in a statement.

Katz has been the chief architect, executive, and academic leader of CMSRU since 2010 and has held a variety of other executive leadership positions within medical schools and health systems, including senior vice president and chief medical officer at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, chairman of medicine and physician-in-chief at Georgetown University Hospital, and chief operating officer at Georgetown University Medical Center.  Continue Reading

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