Space to Port Richmond (Instagram/@basique_b)

RECAP: Looking back on the week that was

• $500 million to fix Philly water pipes

Philadelphia’s water system is one of the oldest in the nation: the average water main is 76 years old. The city’s renewal effort, which already replaces over 25 miles of pipe each year, is getting a boost. Biden was in West Philly to announce a $160 million federal grant and $340 million EPA loan. The funding will also go toward swapping out home service lines still made from lead — the toxin doesn’t usually leach into water, but still presents a danger. Will the new money mitigate the pending water rate hike? No, says the Water Dept., because it was already factored in. [BP 2022/White House/Phila Gov/WHYY]

• Stumbles for first-time political candidate   

Grocery chain owner Jeff Brown, who raised just over $1M last year toward his mayoral run, had a rough couple of weeks on the trail. At a “job interview” forum, Brown stumbled when former Mayor Nutter grilled him about how city government works. His ad touting decade-old praise from Michelle Obama drew ire from her people, but is still showing up on promos from a super PAC. And Brown reportedly told voters in West Philly he opposes increasing the PPD budget — then said the opposite to a group in Northeast Philly. [@billy_penn/Citizen/Al Dia/Daily Beast/Inquirer$]

• MOVE to be taught in Philly schools

African American history has been part of the Philly School District’s curriculum since 2005, but the required units never touched on a huge piece of local Black history: the saga of MOVE. As part of the program’s first refresh since being introduced, students will soon learn about that chapter of Philadelphia’s past, which ranges from a showdown with city government leading to the bombing of 61 houses, mishandled victim remains, and recently-surfaced allegations of abuse. [Billy Penn/BP x 3] 

• Ukulele performance highlights Council hearing

Zoning hearings are often contentious; much less often do they inspire music. As City Council considered changes to allow clear-cutting for reconstruction of the Cobbs Creek Golf Course — a former municipal course in West Philly that got filled in with trees — one citizen put forth their public comment as a ukulele solo based on Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi.” Despite that, the zoning exemption passed. [WHYY/Golf Digest/Billy Penn/WHYY]

Boathouse Row in winter (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead

• City to launch ‘Permit Navigator’ pilot

To cut through bureaucratic red tape — a cliche many feel rings true in Philadelphia, where it can take 58 steps to open a restaurant — the Kenney administration is rolling out a new online system to walk people through the permitting process. Per a tease of the pilot, which is set to launch Monday, it’ll present a series of questions, then provide a summary containing approximate costs and links to the proper forms. [BP 2022/Phila Gov]

• Recruiting for local tech jobs

The layoffs hitting big tech companies like Google and Microsoft aren’t translating to the local level — much the opposite. The city’s “eds and meds” economy is evolving; there are a ton of bio lab development projects in the works, and even companies like Wawa are ready to double down on tech workers. This week Campus Philly hosts a life sciences and tech recruiting event, which job-seekers can attend for free and interested employers can still join. [Inquirer$/Technically/Daily Penn/NBC10/Brazen/Campus Philly]

• Black History Month celebrations

There are already dozens of ways to celebrate Black History Month in Philadelphia, with several more coming. Northern Liberties is rolling out an audio and “Window Stories” tour through the neighborhood that was an Underground Railroad stop. Smith Memorial Playground just unveiled a new “Leaders and Legends” exhibit. And the Museum of the American Revolution is opening an exhibit on the Fortens, a Black family that was influential in Philly during the Revolutionary Era — stay tuned for BP’s in-depth preview. [Visit Philly/Explore NoLibs/Smith Playground/AmRev Museum]

• E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!

Perhaps you heard? The Eagles are in the Super Bowl. Expect the week ahead to be filled will pep rallies and parties, fan stories and player histories, and jealous digs from competitors. Even the Betsy Ross House is getting into the spirit, replacing the Stars and Stripes with an Eagles flag for the week. WHYY’s Cory Sharber will be reporting from Arizona (they’re not greasing poles, watch out), and BP will have a look at Donna Kelce, whose two sons are on opposite sides, an SB57 bingo game, and more. Have tips on a fun happening? Hit us up. Go Birds. [Yahoo/Bleeding Green/Axios/BP/6ABC]