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Stretching monkeypox vaccines; NYT spotlights Philly violence; RIP chef Jim Burke | Sunday roundup

Could Northeast Philly get a subway? 🚇

Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

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RECAP: Looking back on the week that was

• As NYT spotlights violence, police deny block parties

The inescapable fact that Philadelphia is “awash in guns” made international news thanks to a New York Times feature. Philly officials can’t pass tighter firearms restrictions because of Harrisburg, and some have begun advocating for a return to “stop and frisk,” saying it can be done without violating civil rights. Meanwhile, police are nixing block party permits in whole swaths of the city, denying communities a type of activity shown to reduce violence. [NYT/Citizen/On Point/BP 2018/Billy Penn]

• Wary of Sixers arena, Chinatown looks to expressway cap

With the proposed takeover of the Greyhound bus station, the Sixers’ plans for a new arena extend directly into Chinatown. 76 Devcorp promises community engagement, but neighborhood leaders are wary. A 1960s effort to stop South Philly’s Veterans Stadium was unsuccessful, and though Chinatown activists won other development battles, they weren’t able to stop the Vine Street Expressway from slicing through. On that last, there’s new hope as officials move forward on building a cap over part of the highway. [6ABC/BP/Billy Penn/Billy Penn]

• African American Museum announces move to the Parkway

The former Family Court building at 1801 Vine was built as part of the New Deal and is on the city’s historic register. But it’s been vacant over a decade, after a deal to turn it into a luxury hotel fell through. Now a new plan is underway, with last week’s announcement the African American Museum of Philadelphia would move into part of it, becoming part of the Ben Franklin Parkway’s museum row. Side note: With AAMP leaving, plans for redeveloping the Roundhouse could theoretically take up that entire block. [Hidden City/Daroff Design/Inquirer$/Phila Gov/Tribune/WHYY’s PlanPhilly]

• Restaurant community mourns Jim Burke, longtime Philly chef

The Philly food community is remembering chef Jim Burke, who died last week at 49 after fighting a rare lung cancer. Before he made a splash with Bella Vista fine dining hit James, Burke cut his teeth working for Marc Vetri and Stephen Starr, helping solidify their respective empires. Restaurants around the city are fundraising for his family with special dishes available throughout the month. [GoFundMe/Inquirer$/Philly Mag$]

The Hyatt Centric hotel, on the corner formerly home to Little Pete's

The Hyatt Centric hotel, on the corner formerly home to Little Pete's

Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead

• Pa. House begins consideration of open primaries

Pennsylvania is one of nine states with “closed primaries,” meaning you have to be registered to vote in a party primary. As the number of independents increases — it’s about 21% of Pa. voters between 18 and 34 — there’s a movement to change that. The Pa. House holds its first hearing on the idea this Tuesday in Villanova. [Billy Penn/Ballot PA/Legis Pa.]

• City deciding how to ‘stretch’ monkeypox vaccines

Philadelphia has at least 128 recorded cases of monkeypox as the new virus continues to spread nationwide, but vaccine supply is limited and there’s been worry over inequities in distribution. At least 24k doses would be needed to treat everyone at risk, and the city’s only gotten about 5k. However, new FDA guidance says doses can be split 5x — so Health Commissioner Bettigole and her team are working on how to make that happen. [Phila Gov/Billy Penn/AP/Inquirer$]

• Philly schools to require just 10 days of masking

Kids don’t return till Aug. 29, but this week is likely to bring debate over the School District’s just-announced masking policy. For the first 10 days, all students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear masks indoors. After that, face-coverings will be optional. Students who have a COVID exposure and have no symptoms are allowed to stay in class if they mask up. If they test positive, they need to isolate for five days. All this is in line with new CDC guidelines — and what’s happening at most U.S. schools — as educators work to reverse learning deficits caused by pandemic disruption. [Phila SD/NBC10/WHYY/Chalkbeat/Brookings]

• Could Northeast Philly get a subway?

With up to a dozen traffic lanes, Roosevelt Boulevard is one of Philly’s most dangerous roadways. Building a subway extension that would connect Northeast Philly to Center City has been discussed for over a century, and one station was actually built. With new federal funding for infrastructure, the idea is gaining new traction. State Rep. Solomon hosts a town hall about it on Aug. 27. [BP 2018/Billy Penn/@RepJaredSolomon]

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