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Halloween events: Philly Thriller returns, Tot Parade, Kids’ Halloween Jam, Night of the Philly Dead and more

Posted on 30 October 2014 by WestPhillyLocal.com

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Philly Thriller performs in front of The Rotunda (Facebook photo).

We hope you prepared your spooky costumes because All Hallows’ Eve is almost here! Check out our Halloween events roundup (for kids and adults alike) and we hope you have fun tomorrow. Also, the popular local community dance group, Philly Thriller (Facebook page), will be performing again on West Philly streets. We’ll post the performance schedule as soon as it becomes available.  Continue Reading

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Mid-morning mugging near 49th and Windsor (Update: Suspect caught)

Posted on 29 October 2014 by WestPhillyLocal.com

UPDATE (10/29/14, 1:30 p.m.): The robbery suspect is in custody, according to police. He was caught thanks to a 911 call from a person who saw the stillshot from the video posted by police, showing a young man wearing a red and blue jacket.

(Tuesday, 10/28/14): A woman was mugged this morning on Windsor Ave between 48th and 49th Streets, according to various reports. The incident took place shortly before 10 a.m. An unknown man ran up behind the woman and knocked her down, according to a neighbor report. He was unarmed, according to police. The man, who was wearing a blue windbreaker with a red stripe on the hood, got away with a small amount of cash.

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Local 44 owners present plans for ‘Clarkville’ to zoning committee

Posted on 28 October 2014 by Mike Lyons

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A giant dumpster is already in front of the former Best House Pizza. A zoning hearing for 4301 Baltimore Ave is scheduled for Nov. 19. (Photos by West Philly Local)

Tentative plans for a new restaurant and bar at 4301 Baltimore Ave. – formerly Best House Pizza – include a stripped down facade, craft beer on tap, second floor dining and, possibly, pizza by the slice.

The owners of Local 44 introduced their plans to open the establishment, tentatively named “Clarkville,” to the Spruce Hill Community Association planning committee and a roomful of nearby neighbors last night.

Plans call for the removal of the awning and the installation of floor-to-ceiling windows on the restaurant’s first floor, which will also include a bar that serves only tap beer, wine and high-end spirits. In other words, no Jägermeister shots.  Continue Reading

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Scribe Video Center, local KEYSPOT to host open houses this Tuesday

Posted on 27 October 2014 by WestPhillyLocal.com

Two great local community resources, Scribe Video Center and KEYSPOT, are hosting open houses on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

KEYSPOT_logoKEYSPOTa project by the Freedom Rings Partnership that has over 70 centers with computer labs, free internet access and training throughout Philadelphia, has recently opened a new location in West Philly – at Drexel University’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships. This Tuesday, community members are invited for an evening of mingling and refreshments at an open house at this location. There will be opportunities to:

Learn about free computer access, education, and job preparation resources
• Participate in a Q&A session with KEYSPOT staff and clients
• Enter a raffle to win a netbook computer
• Discover how these KEYSPOTs are helping put Philadelphia’s job-seekers to work

The open house will be held from 4 to 7 p.m.. Dornsife Center is located at 3509 Spring Garden Street. The event is free and open to the public.

scribelogoScribe Video Center (4212 Chestnut St) will host an open house on Tuesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.. It’s a great networking opportunity for emerging and experienced video makers. You can also learn about membership, workshops and programs at the center, tour the facilities, and check out the equipment! Light refreshments will be served.

Founded in 1982, Scribe Video Center provides training in all aspects of film, video and audio production by offering classes and workshops. It also hosts a wide variety of programs and event series, including Community Visions, the Producers’ Forum, Muslim Voices of Philadelphia, Street Movies!, and more.

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U. of Sciences buys Alexander Wilson School building for student housing

Posted on 27 October 2014 by Mike Lyons

AlexanderWilsonSchoolThe University of the Sciences (USP) has acquired the former Alexander Wilson School at 46th and Woodland and plans to turn it into student housing.

USP paid a reported $2 million for the 1.03-acre parcel that borders its campus and includes the three story school building, which the School District of Philadelphia closed along with nearly two dozen other public schools in 2013. The purchase, which was approved at the October 16 School Reform Commission meeting, follows a long bid process that included interest from West Philly based developers Oren Brothers.

The university will turn the site into student housing and student-focused retail, according to Helen Giles-Gee, USP’s president.

“The location of the Wilson School adjacent to the [USP] campus is a strategic one for our university and one that we hope will provide both student housing and retail that makes sense for the community and for us,” Giles-Gee said in a statement. “Though we understand that no community wants to lose its neighborhood school, we hope to work closely with area residents as we develop our plans for the site.”

Early last spring Oren Brothers seemed to have locked up the purchase of the Wilson building for $4.6 million, but the District later asked for clarification of the bids and USP emerged as the front runner.

The Wilson sale follows the sale of the old West Philadelphia High School (47th and Walnut), which will be converted to residential units.

In September, the SRC lowered the sale price of the old West Philly High by $900,000 to $5.1 million to compensate for “design inefficiencies” in the building, which was constructed in 1912. The developer, WPHS Venture Partners, told the SRC that it had to lower the number of units it could build from 300 to about 250, prompting a request to the SRC for a price reduction.

We will keep you updated on the development of these two buildings as they go through the zoning and public comment phases.

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West, Southwest Philly blocks win this year’s Clean Block Contest

Posted on 27 October 2014 by WestPhillyLocal.com

Some great news was announced over the weekend: Two city blocks west of the Schuylkill and their captains were selected as the winners of the 2014 Clean Block Contest organized by the Streets Department’s Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee (PBMC). The 700 block of Markoe Street (Block Captain Ms. Audrey Darien) and the 6000 block of Trinity Street (Block Captain Ms. Marsha Wall) each won 1st place in the competition and will receive $1,000.

Some 22 blocks participated in this year’s contest and were judged for efforts of block residents, their cleanliness, beautification efforts, and property improvements.

The winners were announced on Saturday evening at the Annual Clean Block Awards Banquet. The top four winners will be awarded $300 for 4th place, $500 for 3rd place, $700 for 2nd place, with the top prize being $1,000. The remaining blocks each receive $150. The prize money is to be used for future block cleaning and beatification projects.

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