Halloween for the Family in Whitman South Philly

Halloween is here already! If you and your family are looking for things to do in Philly, look no further than the Whitman neighborhood of South Philly. The Halloween events around the area focus on kid-friendly and family fun.

If you don’t want your little ones wandering the streets late at night to trick-or-treat, consider taking them to trick-or-treat at the Whitman Library! Take your kids to the Whitman Library located at 200 Snyder Ave on¬†Monday, October 26th at 4pm. That will give kids the chance to go home and change after school – if they aren’t already in their costume!

Whitman Halloween

Looking for something a little more interactive for the family? On Thursday, October 29, Mifflin Square Park is hosting their Annual Halloween Park Cleanup & Mask Making Contest at 6th & Ritner Street from 3:30-6:30pm. Bring your joy and share it with the neighborhood!

Whitman Halloween Mifflin Square
Locals paint Mifflin Square Park for Halloween

Philadelphia Fall 2015 Cleanup

Do you want to help keep your city clean but don’t know where to start? Download the Philly Fall 2015 Cleanup Resource Guide to get started. Remember to talk to your block captain and neighbors to organize street cleanings!

Clean Up Philadelphia 2015
Keep Philadelphia Beautiful Community Cleanup Resource Guide

Love Your Park Week: Every fall and spring, an Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy work with neighborhood groups to promote service opportunities in our city’s amazing parks. Learn more at www.loveyourpark.org.

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

Rooftop Yoga at South Bowl in October

On October 18th and 25th, South Bowl on 19 East Oregon Avenue will offer one-hour of yoga on their rooftop, which is used as a rooftop bar on weekends. After the yoga session, yogis get the the option of free with tots, chips and salsa, and drink specials.

Did we mention it’s a bowling alley, complete with a full bar, pool table, and kitchen?

The class is $15. All profits go to keeping Breathing Room yoga studio up and running, the goal of which is to provide low-price, high-quality yoga to the Port Richmond area.

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Call and reserve your spot because each class will be capped at 30 people.

Temple Students Robbed at Gunpoint – Again!

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Two Temple University students were robbed at gunpoint in separate incidents early Thursday in North Philadelphia.

Temple Robbed

The first incident happened at 1 a.m. near Temple’s campus, near the intersection of N. 10th Street and Susquehanna Avenue.

Police say a 21-year-old male student was approached by two men who threatened him with a gun and took his wallet, phone and car. The student was not injured. Police are looking for the victim’s 2005 Cadillac with New Jersey license plates.

About two and a half hours later, around 3:30 a.m., a second male Temple student was robbed at gunpoint while walking home. That incident happened on Temple’s campus, in the 1800 block of N. 15th Street.

Temple TU Alerts from the University:

TU Alert: Armed robbery reported at 10th Street and Susquehanna Avenue. Use caution. Avoid the area. Police are responding.
12:47 AM – 15 Oct 2015

TU Alert: Armed robbery reported at 1800 N 15th Street. Use caution. Avoid the area. Police are responding.
4:02 AM – 15 Oct 2015

Lucky $20,000 Winner and Tim Howard Four Blocked Penalty Shots

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — One skilled fan’s life became $20,000 richer when el Jimador Tequila “Your Shot at $1 Million” program awarded Bryce Pigott, from Gilbert, Arizona, the prize after he successfully kicked a penalty shot against U.S. National and Everton goalkeeper, Tim Howard. Five sweepstakes winners were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a penalty shot against Howard, and then a shot for the chance to win $1 million dollars. Tim Howard’s charity partner the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome, prevailed as the ultimate winner collecting $105,000 in funds raised for the organization.

Randomly selected from more than 100,000 entries for the “Your Shot at $1 Million Dollars” program, the other four sweepstakes winners included Andy Acton of Rochester, NY, Dana Elaine of Philadelphia, PA, Matt Gold of Denver, CO and Alex Varela of Dallas, TX. They were all flown to New York along with a guest and had an opportunity to meet Tim Howard, attend the U.S. vs. Costa Rica game on Oct. 13, and enjoy some of New York’s hot spots, courtesy of el Jimador Tequila.

“Since becoming an active soccer sponsor, we’ve been committed to offering adult consumers once-in-a-lifetime experiences that go beyond soccer matches and bring fans closer to their favorite players,” said Ed Carias, Senior Brand Manager, el Jimador. “‘Your Shot’ has been one of the most successful programs to date and we could not have had a better partner than Tim Howard who is as passionate about his craft, as we are about making quality tequila.”

The New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome, where Howard serves on the board, received funds raised throughout the program by adult consumers who used #KICKTS hashtag in their social media posts as well as $20,000 awarded for each shot blocked by Howard totaling $105,000.

“What a beautiful day for a shoot out here in New York City. Congrats to Bryce for an excellent shot,” exclaims Tim Howard. “And, we have another winner today – The New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome. And, thanks to el Jimador for a wonderful partnership.”

To speak with a brand representative regarding the contest or el Jimador, please contact Havas FORMULATIN at casaherradura@formulatin.com.

El Jimador Tequila encourages you to drink responsibly.

About el Jimador Tequila

From Casa Herradura, established in 1870, el Jimador is a premium, authentic 100 percent agave tequila that captures the spirit of real tequila. The name el Jimador honors the men who harvest the locally grown agave with great pride and care. Since its introduction in 1994, el Jimador has become the No. 1 selling 100 percent agave tequila in Mexico*. el Jimador is the official sponsor of the annual U.S. Tour of the Mexican National Team and MLS teams including the Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas, Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers. To learn more about el Jimador, visit www.eljimador.com.

Alc. 40% by Vol. (80 proof) Tequila, Imported by Brown-Forman, Louisville, KY
* Nielsen/ISCAM January 2015
SOURCE el Jimador Tequila

CONTACT: Jane Rubenstein, (502) 774-7164, Jane_rubenstein@b-f.com, or Berenice Gonzales, (212) 219-0321, gonzales@havasformulatin.com

Health Insurance Rates Decrease by $81 Million in 2016, Insurance Department Announces

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller today announced 2016 rates for individual and small group health insurance plans offered in Pennsylvania under the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment for these plans begins November 1.

“With the announcement of these rates, Commissioner Miller is continuing my administration’s push for consumer protection across the commonwealth,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “We are working to guarantee that Pennsylvanians can continue to shop for their best coverage options in a competitive insurance marketplace, while still paying reasonable prices.”

Commissioner Miller said the approved rates will save Pennsylvania consumers nearly $81 million compared to the rates proposed by insurers in June.

“We consider many factors when making final decisions on health insurance rates, but the impact on Pennsylvania consumers is always our top priority,” Commissioner Miller said. “Six insurers in the individual market proposed rate hikes of more than 25 percent, but we were concerned about how these increases would affect consumers. The Insurance Department ultimately approved final rates that are significantly lower than were originally proposed.”

Other factors considered by the Insurance Department when determining final rates include claims paid over the past year, as well as estimates of future costs, such as medical and prescription drug costs and administrative expenses and the insurers’ current surplus. For all six companies that proposed rate hikes above 25 percent, the commissioner requested the companies phase in increases over additional years if necessary. The commissioner noted these companies are sufficiently strong financially to accommodate this request.

Commissioner Miller noted there are 19 companies offering individual health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act in Pennsylvania, and 23 companies offering plans for small groups, which are businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Of the 19 companies offering individual health plans, 12 have increases under ten percent. All 23 companies offering small group health plans will have increases under ten percent.

“I encourage all consumers to take advantage of Pennsylvania’s competitive market and shop around to see if there is a better plan which offers benefits better suited to their needs,” Commissioner Miller said. “All Pennsylvanians have the choice of at least four individual plans in their area, and most have multiple plans from which to choose.”

When looking at the percentage increase for a given health plan’s rate, it is important to understand what the current rates are for that plan, and whether the rates actually cover the insurer’s costs. When the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2014, insurance companies had no claims history with which to estimate how many claims the newly insured population would file, or how much those claims would cost insurers. In many cases, insurers underestimated the cost of the claims individuals newly insured would file, and the premiums charged to cover these costs are now being set at a level to more accurately reflect insurers’ anticipated costs.

“Pennsylvania consumers overall enjoy lower rates than consumers in nearby states and the nation as a whole,” said Commissioner Miller. “For example, when comparing the lowest cost silver plans in each state for 2015, Pennsylvania’s average monthly premium of $222 is $66 below the average for states in the northeast region, and $42 below the national average.”

In addition, more than 80 percent of Pennsylvanians buying individual health insurance through plans offered on the federal government’s Marketplace, www.healthcare.gov, receive subsidies to help pay their premiums. Individual health plans are offered both through this federal Marketplace and directly from private insurers, but consumers are eligible for subsidies only for plans bought through the federal Marketplace.

Current health plans are in effect through December 31. In order to have coverage under new or continuing plans begin January 1 and avoid any lapse in coverage, consumers must enroll for 2016 by December 15.

To help consumers find their best plan, the Insurance Department has provided information on rates by area of the state, an explanation of the process for approving rates, and a shoppers’ guide to help individuals navigate the process of buying insurance on their website, www.insurance.pa.gov. On the main page, click on “2016 Affordable Care Act Rates by Rating Area” to see examples of rates in specific regions, and under the Consumers tab, click on “Health” to find the shoppers’ guide. When open enrollment begins on November 1, a list of all plans available on the federal Marketplace in Pennsylvania and the cost of each will be available on www.healthcare.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ron Ruman, Insurance Department, 717-787-3289

View the original version on PR Newswire
SOURCE Pennsylvania Insurance Department

Fattah speaks at West Philly High School

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Tomorrow, Thursday, October 15, Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) will speak to high school students at West Philadelphia High School as part of his outreach efforts to local schools in the community. The Congressman will deliver remarks focused on citizenship, government, and the importance of higher education to juniors and seniors in the school’s AP Government classes. Fattah, who is the architect of GEAR UP, has made college access one of his primary policy priorities.

West Philadelphia is one of 11 high schools in the School District of Philadelphia that receive GEAR UP funding. In addition, 35 feeder elementary schools in the district are GEAR UP participants. Last month, Fattah addressed GEAR UP students at Roxborough High School, and will continue visiting area schools this fall.

GEAR UP, which has helped more than 12 million students nationwide, prepares students from high poverty backgrounds for higher education. Focusing on entire classes or cohorts, the program includes mentoring, academic preparation, financial education, and college scholarships.

WHO: Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02)

WHAT: Address students at West Philadelphia High School

WHEN: 11:30AM, Thursday, October 15, 2015

WHERE: West Philadelphia High School
4901 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139

Should I Move to Whitman in South Philly?

Jennifer P. asks:

Where should two young adults move to in Philly? Is Whitman a good and safe neighborhood for us? My friend and I are both young professionals that are planning to move to Philadelphia for work and school. Do you think the Whitman neighborhood would be a good fit for us? We are looking at a few houses near 3rd street, off of Oregon Ave. I would like to live around Passyunk Ave as there are more nightlife activities for us within walking distance, but the houses are smaller and we were hoping to have some grass. I have seen a few houses around Whitman that are really beautiful with a good asking price, I just don’t know how well we would fit in as there are a lot of families and we are single young adults.

Carol answers:

Jennifer, Whitman would be a great option for you and your friend. The homes are definitely affordable, with many homes offering lawns and gardens. City living is tough, but Whitman offers the best of both worlds when it comes to safety and convenience. The neighbors keep an eye out for each other, making the area one of the safest in the city. The grocery stores and Whitman Plaza shopping center is within walking distance. The bus routes run all throughout.

David answers:

The neighborhood will welcome you with open arms. They love young adults who have energy and something to bring to the neighborhood. You will be invited to events, meetings, watch groups, etc if you are only willing to interact with the neighbors. The only downside I can see is that the parties and clubs are definitely lacking. There are taverns and bars, but all small and old school traditional. The newest thing they have in the area is the bowling alley which boasts two full service bars. Other than that, you’ll find mostly grocery and retail shops. You’ll have to trek a little further south for your party needs. On the bright side, the neighborhood keeps it’s peace and tranquility.