"West Philly"

Wait, can I take NyQuil with my meds? USciences students will help with answers at Clark Park

Posted on 24 February 2017 by

Photo courtesy of USciences.

University of the Sciences students will be at Clark Park Farmers’ Market every Saturday through March 11 to talk about some important health-related issues with community members.

A group of USciences pharmacy students are volunteering to staff a table during the market hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to raise awareness about the importance of prescription medication adherence as part of the Script Your Future campaign.

Students and faculty members will be available to talk to residents about why it is important to take medications properly and discuss the risks of medication nonadherence. The team will also work with individuals to determine the best way to prevent dangerous interactions with prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.

Students are encouraging residents to “Take the Pledge” to take medications properly. For more information, find USciences Script Your Future on Facebook or read about the campaign on their website.

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Annual Neighborhood Social to raise money for restorations at St. Francis de Sales

Posted on 24 February 2017 by

West Philly’s architectural gem, St. Francis de Sales church, has been going on some extensive restoration in the past several years. Next week, there is a chance to contribute to the church restoration fund in a fun and delicious way. The annual neighborhood social, “Some Enchanted Evening,” will take place at the parish (4625 Springfield Ave.) on Saturday, March 4, and will feature a live, 10-piece band, dinner catered by the Gold Standard Cafe, and open bar on wine and beer. The St. Francis de Sales hall will be transformed into a magical space for the evening.

Tickets are $45 and include dinner and unlimited wine and beer (bring an extra $5 for the liquor bar).

Please note that this is a non-religious event, and everyone is welcome. Doors open at 7 p.m.

For more information and to purchase tickets, go here.

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West Philly High student acquitted of classmate’s murder

Posted on 23 February 2017 by Mike Lyons

A former West Philly High School student was found not guilty on Wednesday of the murder of a classmate near the 46th Street El stop in January 2015.

Xavier Beemon, who was 14 at the time, admitted to stabbing Nafis O’Neal, also 14, with a pocketknife during an after-school altercation, but said it was self defense. A jury agreed and after seven hours of deliberation acquitted Beemon on all charges, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer

Beemon was considerably smaller than O’Neal, who was a popular basketball and football player, according to testimony. Beemon, who moved to West Philly from Alabama in 2011, said he was so fearful of life in Philadelphia that he began hiding a pocketknife near school that he would carry home for protection. O’Neal approached Beemon after school and a scuffle ensued. Beemon said he swung the knife around and stabbed O’Neal once in the chest.

O’Neal was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I didn’t aim at his chest,” The Inquirer reported Beemon saying during testimony. “I just swung and it happened I hit his chest.”

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Garden Court Plaza’s Dreaming Tree Music changes name, moves to 42nd and Chestnut

Posted on 23 February 2017 by

Some of you may be wondering what happened to the businesses that used to occupy the ground floor of Garden Court Plaza at 47th and Pine. The ground-floor retail space is currently closed for renovation, and after its completion, some of the old businesses are not coming back, including Take the Lead Dance Studio and Dreaming Tree Music. The building’s new owners, The Post Brothers, said last year that they were looking into bringing some new businesses into the building, including ReAnimator Coffee (stay tuned for more information about these plans).

Inner Rhythms Music and Therapy Center’s space at 42nd and Chestnut (Facebook photo).

Here’s some good news though about Dreaming Tree Music. As of mid-January the studio has new space in West Philly – at 4145 Chestnut Street (2nd Floor) – and has reopened under a new name – Inner Rhythms Music and Therapy Center.

“In December we closed Dreaming Tree Music, hoping to find a new home. We are now excited to announce the opening of Inner Rhythms Music and Therapy Center – a new name, but our mission remains the same,” reads a message recently posted on Inner Rhythms’ Facebook page.  Continue Reading

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Free public forum on Islamophobia this Thursday at Penn Museum

Posted on 22 February 2017 by

Reza Aslan

Internationally renowned Iranian-American writer and religious scholar Reza Aslan will address racism and discrimination against Muslim people in America during a talk on Thursday, Feb. 23. The talk is part of the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts & Sciences’ Levin Family Dean’s public forum, “Fear Inc.: Confronting Islamophobia in America,” which will be held at the Penn Museum.

The forum is free and open to the public.

Since West Philadelphia is home to thousands of Muslims people, this forum is a great opportunity to learn more about this religion and misconceptions about it, in order to understand better our Muslim neighbors.  Continue Reading

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Refugees are welcome here: West Philly neighbors step up for a family in need

Posted on 20 February 2017 by Mike Lyons

Paige Whiting and “Amina” embrace on the porch of Whiting’s home on the 5300 block of Pine St. (Photo by West Philly Local).


Editor’s note: The woman who is the subject of this story asked that we not use her name or show her face in a photo. We honored that request and so we have used the pseudonym “Amina” throughout the story.

Paige Whiting was at Malcolm X. Park a couple of blocks from her home on the 5300 block of Pine Street last fall when she first met Amina, who was at the park with her three children. Their friendship grew to include meetings at one of the many mom groups in the neighborhood. Amina made friends quickly and worked on her English. A refugee from Afghanistan, she and her family had only been in the United States since September.

“I’m so lucky to find these friends,” Amina said, sitting on a couch on the second floor of Paige’s home.  Continue Reading

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