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$10 million buyback plan could save gardens and green space
Councilmember Kendra Brooks introduced a plan to allocate $10 million to buy back thousands of “vacant” Philadelphia land plots.
- The move could save dozens of community gardens residents have created on the empty lots, which has been shown to calm violence. It could also create space for affordable housing.
The land is owned by U.S. Bank, which received the parcels from the city in 1997, Jordan Levy reports, and is now sending them to sheriff’s sale.
What could the city do to help Clark Park craft vendors?
Since rumors began circulating among Clark Park craft vendors that officials would start enforcing permit requirements, the weekly market has felt emptier.
- Some continue to sell at the West Philly park each Saturday, even if setting up shop comes with a new set of nerves. Officials in Council and Parks & Rec have pledged to look for ways to make them legal.
Skip enforcement? Create a new, cheaper pop-up permit? Emily White looks into the feasibility of some solutions that have been floating around.
RECAP: What else happened?
$ = paywalled
- After a jury deadlocked last month, the retrial of Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson and his wife Dawn Chavous is set for Sept. 28. [Billy Penn/WHYY]
- Schools in the Philadelphia region are among the most segregated in the nation, especially for Latino students, according to a new report. [Chalkbeat]
- Developers broke ground on PHA’s 59-townhouse Sharswood Crossing in North Philly. There are 30,000 names on the waiting list for the affordable 2- and 3-bedroom homes. [Tribune$/KYW]
- It’s been a big year for Philadelphians Quinta Brunson, creator of breakout show “Abbott Elementary,” and Questlove, who is now an Oscar-winner, landing them on Time’s 100 Most Influential list. [Axios/Time]
- The Phillies apparently hold the MLB record for longest games this season, averaging 3 hrs., 17 min. Boredom? Not if you snag this Phanatic-shaped hot dog launcher at charity auction (don’t plan on actually slinging wieners, it’s no longer in working order). [Defector/Phillies]
Weekly brief on gun violence prevention (with PCGVR)
- Gov. Wolf ordered Pa. flags flown at half-staff as the nation mourns yet another school shooting, killing at least 19 children in Uvalde, Texas. There have been more than 200 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year. [pa.gov/San Antonio Express/@GunDeaths]
- A teen committee surveyed 1,300 middle and high school students about gun violence, and findings will be presented to City Council in June. [WHYY]
- The new PhilaStats dashboard lets you explore vital statistics by age, location and race. Sad takeaways: overdoses are the leading cause of early death in Philly, while homicide is the leading cause for young Black men. [Shinyapps/phila.gov]
- Do gun buyback programs deter shootings? It’s hard to measure in Philadelphia, and some national studies show little effect. [NBC10 video/Fee]
- In Chicago’s West Side, shootings have dropped 58% this year. Advocates credit prevention and intervention programs. [Block Club Chi]
By the numbers in Philadelphia
- 58: Shooting victims recorded last week, vs. 47 the week prior [PPD Google Drive]
- 833: Shooting victims this year, up 1% from last year [PCGVR]
- 188: Year-to-date homicides, down 9% from last year, but up 54% vs. five years ago [Philly Police]
Mayor Kenney joins the biweekly briefing on the city’s gun violence response (1 p.m.), alongside Health Dept. and PHA officials to intro a new initiative to provide behavioral supports and workforce opportunities. You can listen live on WURD Radio 900 AM / 96.1 FM or watch on Facebook.
ON THE CALENDAR
🎸 Bands supporting Billy Penn: We’re emceeing a music show at The Fire, the woman-owned indie music venue and bar on Girard Avenue. Come hang at our table as you check out local bands with sounds ranging from blues-rock to surf-goth. Tickets are $15, and a portion of sales benefit BP’s journalism. (8 p.m. to midnight, Wednesday, June 1)
🎥 Under the Stars in Clark Park is back with a screening of “Prince’s Sign O’ The Times,” a high energy concert film featuring the High Priest of Pop. Free with RSVP. (7:30 p.m. Friday, May 27)
🎆 Kick off the summer season with a free fireworks show over the Delaware River. Festivities start with a show by the 78th Army Band’s Latin Ensemble at Penn’s Landing. (Show 8 p.m., fireworks 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 28)