News

Philadelphia news relevant to our local communities.

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 philly.com 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 tips@phillypolice.com. You can also call 215.686.TIPS (8477) or text PPDTIP (773847)

Wegmans Opening in South Philly? Close

Wegmans announces plans regarding new store openings, but not where everyone has been anticipating.

Rumor has been floating around about a Wegmans opening in South Philadelphia for years now. Most of it was wishful thinking, with a lot of wishing. In fact, the Wegmans fan base is so strong around here that there are dozens of Facebook fan pages and support groups based around it – despite the lack of stores. It doesn’t help that their are so many Philadelphia locations that would be ideal for the popular supermarket.

Wegmans plans new openings in PA in 2015 and 2016
Wegmans plans new openings in PA in 2015 and 2016

It has been confirmed again and again that Wegmans is not coming to Broad and Washington and most definitely not coming to Snyder Plaza, where ShopRite will soon move from.

All is not lost, however, as Wegmans has announced its plans to open two new stores in Pennsylvania. The first one opens in just a couple of weeks in Concordville. The second location, pending opening date, will be located in Lancaster. Although not in Philadelphia, fans of the store can be hopeful that Wegmans is expanding its stores and approaching the city.

New Wegmans Opening in PA:

Concordville, PA
202 near Route 1
Nov. 8, 2015

Lancaster, PA
Harrisburg Pike, just east of its
Interchange with U.S. Route 30
TBD

Snyder Plaza ShopRite moves to Oregon Ave as Pathmark Closes

A &P’s Pathmark located in Whitman Plaza on 3rd and Oregon will officially close come November 3rd, 2015. The ShopRite store at Snyder Plaza will be moving to the more spacious Oregon Ave location come Spring 2016, according to sources at ShopRite.

ShopRite hopes to expand its store at the new location by offering a sit-in cafe, dietician, and additional upscale features. Sources hint at a grand plan to develop Whitman Plaza and nearby neighborhoods, bringing in new residents, more jobs, and tight security features; all while maintaining the same low cost to consumers. The expected influx of businesses and jobs is intended to draw in new and diverse residents, further developing the neighborhood.

Snyder Plaza ShopRite moving to Whitman Plaza 2016

The building where Pathmark once stood will be completely renovated to give ShopRite a specific modern appeal, the first of it’s kind in Philadelphia. ShopRite was unclear about their planned security features and specific plans to clean up the neighborhood. Their decision to go green will mostly depend on neighborhood associations and nearby residents.

The new ShopRite does not advertise a pharmacy department. Pathmark’s pharmacy department closes October 31, 2015. Prescriptions have been sold to RiteAid Pharmacy. Consumers with prescriptions or refills at Pathmark Pharmacy in Whitman Plaza will have to contact RiteAid to get their prescriptions. Alternatively, customers can have their new pharmacy of choice contact RiteAid and transfer all their prescriptions.

Update: ShopRite announces opening of ShopRite of Whitman Plaza in early 2016 | ShopRite finalizes opening date of September 2016 after months delay