Questions persist about city anti-violence spending
Mayor Kenney and Council President Clarke have touted the city’s record anti-violence spending — about $500 per resident — but there’s little oversight of the funds.
- A $13.5 million grant for the “Guns Down Gloves Up” boxing program ended up funneling $76k to police staffers, an Inquirer report found. It’s now the target of an Internal Affairs investigation.
The Office of Violence Prevention has been mired in bureaucracy since at least 2018, and last year Philly’s most expansive community grant program struggled to get nonprofits the cash they were awarded.
The Eagles are headed to Super Bowl LVII
Sunday night was a celebration in Philadelphia after the Eagles rolled over the Niners 31-7 to win the NFC Championship game.
- After the city blocked off nearly a square mile around City Hall, Broad Street erupted with dancing, drumlines — and yes, some pole climbing. (Philly 311’s plea to “be kind to the street poles” was mostly ignored.)
- The Birds now face the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII, which means taking on former coach Andy Reid, and a first-of-its kind battle between brothers Jason Kelce (Philly’s center) and Travis Kelce (KC’s tight end).
SB57 will be the first ever to feature two Black quarterbacks: Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts.
RECAP: What else happened?
$ = paywalled
- Workers at the Please Touch Museum have filed to unionize with AFSCME. Two years ago, several people in management there described a “stifling” leadership culture. [Inquirer$/BP 2021]
- The DC-based Birdseed Foundation has expanded to Philly, giving first-time homeowners of color mini-grants to help them close the deal. [Billy Penn]
- The surge of momentum for a Roosevelt Boulevard Subway hit a speed bump. Connecting Northeast Philly to Center City has been suggested for decades, but the estimated $3 billion price tag isn’t currently feasible, said SEPTA CEO Leslie Richards. [BP 2022/WHYY]
- A federal appeals court agreed that the city changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day did not discriminate against Italian Americans. Plaintiff’s lawyer George Bochetto — who successfully sued to remove the box from the Marconi Plaza Columbus statue — vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. [AP/BP 2022]
- Philadelphia now has two official basilicas. The Vatican last week elevated Germantown’s Miraculous Medal Shrine to that status, which apparently brings the authority to “remove all temporal consequences of one’s sin,” per the Catholic Church. [Arch Phila/CNA]
- The Empire State Building lit up in green and tweeted congrats to the Eagles last night, causing an outcry of protests from New Yorkers and Giants fans. [@EmpireStateBldg/CNN]
Nothing on the public calendar today for Mayor Jim F. Kenney. He issued congrats last night after the Eagles beat the 49ers — along with a plea to celebrate safely.
ON THE CALENDAR
📚 The Free Library kicks off Black History Month with a series of events at branches around the city, including a session on how to be an antiracist, a reading group, a themed bingo night and others. (Jan. 31-Feb. 28)
🎨 Four former Philly art students put on a “Language of Color” show at Space 1026 gallery on North Broad, and their First Friday opening reception features refreshments. (6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3)
🍨 Postpone the February doldrums with Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Among shops opening early: Jeni’s is hosting a contest to win ice cream for a year; Weckerly’s is offering affogatos and pop-tart ice cream sandwiches; and Franklin Fountain is doing a special waffle sundae. (Saturday, Feb. 4)