Philadelphia news relevant to our local communities.

Oregon ave median strip becomes dumpsite; utility poles to fall

Our editors received this neighborhood complaint from a concerned South Philadelphian last night. We are still trying to follow up and verify the issues brought up in this email. If anyone has any updates or information regarding the issue, please share.

The source reports that Oregon ave, neglected by the city, has succumb to becoming a literal dumpsite. Utility poles and infrastructures are dangerously unstable and are currently being held up by wires to help support the weight.

The source reports:

“Our neighborhood has many problems that is not being addressed by local law enforcers. We’ve made multiple reports to 311, the police department, and councilman. No parking authority or personnel even comes by or responds. Trash cans and trash bags are being placed right in the center of Oregon Ave weekly. Literally on the median of 10th and Oregon Ave, the middle of the street where cars are illegally parked. Cars parking on the median and left turn lane without getting fined is one thing, but having trash bags left on the median is another story. This is highly unsafe and illegal. We can ignore the trucks and seafood mobiles double parking, auto repair shops taking up the public sidewalk with tires, cars, signs, and chairs. At this point, a little something has to be said so that we don’t officially become the dumpsite and trashcan of South Philly. Poles are going to fall soon and some buildings are bound to collapse.

Oregon Ave is not a rich area and we don’t have a lot of representation like the more active neighborhoods, but we pay our taxes. We may not be rich enough, not vocal enough, not urban enough, and not young enough for media attention, but we don’t deserve to be completely neglected either. If you go down the lower streets or Oregon, the utility poles are literally being held up by strings because the poles are getting too old to stand on their own. Live wires are hanging dangerously right in front of Oregon Diner, even though they have been reported many months before. Please help us get heard.”

Oregon Ave
Oregon Ave streets have been use for public dumping for a long time now, a reader reports. Photo at the intersection of 10th st and Oregon ave from last August. Conditions are reportedly the same today, as it occurs throughout many poorer South Philly neighborhoods.

Update 02/22/16 Passyunk Post reports on the issue of trash storage on Oregon ave. Some readers believe the trash cans belong to the truck that sells seafood on Oregon, possibly Phil’s Live Crabs.

UberPool arrives in Philly amidst PPA & Taxi scandal

UberPOOL, a new feature from Uber that will allow riders to share trips with people heading in the same direction, will soon launch in Philadelphia, according sources from the Philadelphia Business Journal. UberPOOL supports carpooling, minimizing traffic, and reducing emission. Cheaper than UberX, which is already cheaper than regular taxis, UberPOOL could save riders up to $0.55 per mile compared to UberX.

This news comes just days after Philadelphia Daily News revealed that the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) was collaborating with private taxi companies to prevent Uber from operating in Philadelphia. This government agency was reported to have directly worked with private business owners on sting operations that resulted in the impounding of many UberX cars.

Last year, Mayor Kenney sponsored a resolution calling on the state to legalize UberX and Lyft in Philadelphia. UberX and Lyft are currently legal in all other parts of Pennsylvania, where the PPA does not operate.

UberPool is coming to Philadelphia
Instructions on how to use UberPOOL, courtesy of the Uber website.

Bring Philly Street Cleaning Back, says Councilman Squilla & Mayor Kenney

Councilman Mark Squilla wants to make Philadelphia a cleaner and safer place. He wants to reintroduce a street-cleaning program and  plastic bag fee bill again.  “I still think we need a street-cleaning program,” said Squilla. “Now, my South Philly brethren will probably freak out about it. But I would be a proponent.” It wouldn’t have to be the exact same program that failed years back; but a discussion about what might work to keep our city cleaner and safer is due.

Mayor Jim Ken­ney told last June that he would support the street-cleaning program if he got elected as mayor. His support of the program is to be expected.

Some opponents of the street-cleaning program claim that it is too inconvenient to move cars during the few street cleaning hours. Every major city, including heavily populated and overcrowded New York city, has a street-cleaning program.

Philadelphia is rated the dirtiest city in America again and again. Tourists are turned away by the filth, which in turn hurt local businesses. Perhaps it is time to discuss a change for a better, cleaner Philadelphia.

Kenney in Office: end of City Hall Parking

On this cold Monday morning, Jim Kenney was sworn in to begin his role Philadelphia’s 99th Mayor.

Major Jim Kenney’s first task? Kenney was quick to clear all parked cars from the north apron of City Hall. This public area was previously used by city officials to illegally park their cars. Council President Darrell Clarke, former Mayor Michael Nutter, School District Superintendent William Hite and other officials had all previously used this public space to park their cars.

Jim Kenney mayor
Mayor Jim Kenney’s Inauguration (photo via @JimFKenney twitter)

Maybe this is a small part of Mayor Kenney’s initiative to green the city, from the top down. We don’t expect to see Hite bike to work anytime soon, but mayor Kenney lives close enough for such a feat.

Perhaps Mayor Kenney will soon enforce parking laws in other parts of the city such as South Philly. It has been long known that parking laws are not enforced south of Washington Ave on S Broad St or anywhere on Oregon Ave. Perhaps it is about time someone looks into the decades of safety data and loss revenue from the lack of law enforcement.

Philly neighborhood civic group steals money

Is your neighborhood civic group siphoning off money from residents? Neighborhood civic groups are made to empower residents and give them a voice in the community and city. Civic organizations are supposed to be nonprofit; money gathered should ideally go to support projects that benefit the neighborhood.

We’ve received a report that a civic organization may be using some of that government grant money to either line the pockets of their board members or invest in projects that are of little benefit to their neighborhood. The organization is currently under investigation.

How transparent is your neighborhood organization? Do you know what money comes in and where they go? More importantly, are your neighborhood needs being met? Are the residents fairly represented or do board members keep you in the dark?

Just recently, developers of Live! Hotel & Casino agreed to grant approximately $750,000 a year to five South Philly neighborhood groups in order to win their support.

The grants will be administered by a community advisory board with members from the five community groups:

  • Sports Complex Special Services District
  • Stadium Community Council
  • Veterans Stadium Neighbors Civic Association
  • Whitman Council
  • South Philadelphia Communities Civic Association

This is a lot of money, but the exchange is allowing gambling in the residential neighborhoods. The casino will be paying the community groups, but will the groups ensure the money benefit the residents?

Pennsport Beer Peddlers: a successful opening

Philadelphia’s most recently opened beer retailer has been enjoying the fine weather and support of local beer enthusiasts. Beer Peddlers, located at 1942 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd in the Pennsport neighborhood of South Philly, has seen tremendous success since it’s opening last week.

Part of the success may be due to the fact that is located next to Fine Wine and Good Spirits Store. Mostly, we think it’s due to their large selection of craft, import, and domestic beers.

Pennsport Beer Peddlers
Beer Peddlers is located right next to the liquor store (image via Beer Peddlers Facebook)
Pennsport Beer Peddlers Opening Doors
Beer Peddlers opens their door wide in support of the fine weather (image via Beer Peddlers Facebook)

SEPTA Key: New Fare System Launches

The latest update from Septa reveals that SEPTA Key will be launched at the end of this year or by 2016 at the latest. The new fare system, which has been installed in most SEPTA stations for months now, will allow users to purchase reloadable cards. Tokens will be phased out completely.

Modeled after Chicago’s transportation system, this new fare system will let users use their transit cards as debit cards and use their debit cards to pay for rides on buses, trolleys and the subway systems.

SEPTA Key fare system

SEPTA is still working out kinks to ensure that the failures and errors with CTA’s Ventra card will not be an issue with SEPTA Key.

SEPTA Key new system

TD Bank Robber Still Wanted in Whitman

Police and FBI are still searching for a suspect who robbed TD Bank in South Philadelphia last Wednesday, October 15th. The robbery occurred in broad daylight at the TD Bank branch on the 2600 block of South 5th Street in the Whitman neighborhood.

Investigators said the suspect walked into the bank at 3:22 p.m. and handed the teller a demand note. He then escaped with an unknown amount of cash before fleeing east on Oregon Avenue.

Whitman Bank Robber

Police described the suspect as a black male in his 30s, 5’5″ to 5’9″ tall with a medium build and glasses. He wore a black and white jacket, a black and white Nike cap, and dark-colored pants and shoes. This subject is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information about this robbery or this subject is urged to call the FBI at 215-418-4000 or the Philadelphia Police Department. There is a reward for information leading to the suspect’s capture and tipsters can remain anonymous.

Additional images of the suspect:

TD Bank Robber

Whitman Bank Robber

Whitman Bank Robber

Whitman Bank Robber

Please help keep the neighborhoods safe and report any crime.

Want to submit a tip anonymously? Use the online form or email You can also call 215.686.TIPS (8477) or text PPDTIP (773847)