"Weaver's Knot" at Cherry Street Pier (Instagram/@schweitza.media)

Free Library brings back Saturday hours

For the first time in three years, some Philadelphia public libraries will be open on the weekends.  

  • Saturday hours are scheduled at 10 branches from now through June, reversing cutbacks that meant no libraries across the city were open outside of work or school hours. 

The Free Library is still working to add staff, but employees are working overtime — on a volunteer basis — to make it happen, Asha Prihar reports.

→ Which branches are opening?

A city forester for Philly, where the tree canopy is shrinking

Philadelphia lost 6% of its tree canopy last decade, and what’s left isn’t evenly distributed, which means some neighborhoods get much hotter in the summer.

  • Hiring a city forester is one of the recommendations in the new Philly Tree Plan. With staff, they’d help manage the city’s natural lands and 117k existing street trees — plus the thousands more planned.

Overall, the tree plan would cost $25 million annually. Parks & Rec already has $2 million in this year’s budget to get things started, WHYY News reports.

Students cross the street next to Hank Gathers Rec Center on Diamond Street in North Philly. (Danya Henninger/Billy Penn)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

  • Council President Darrell Clarke made it official: he’s not running for reelection. That’ll start jockeying to replace him at the top, where he’s presided since 2012, and for his District 5 seat, which he’s held since 1999. [WHYY/City Paper/PHL Council]
  • Temple University trustees raised $450k for slain campus Police Officer Christopher Fitzgerald. They’re covering funeral costs, and offered to pay his children’s tuition. They’re also installing billboards in his honor around the region. [Fox29/@PhillyInquirer]
  • After an audit focusing on mail problems in Germantown, Logan, and North Philadelphia, USPS says it’s committed to fixing delays and other issues with service by the end of March. [Chestnut Hill Local/Gtown Info Hub/Inquirer$]
  • Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia is getting a $4.13 million grant from the William Penn Foundation to boost its Home Repair Program. [KYW]
  • Philly rapper Black Thought, aka Tariq Trotter, aka cofounder of The Roots, produced an expansive, 5-minute “Love Letter to Hip Hop” to commemorate the genre’s 50th anniversary. [YouTube]
  • Great late-night food options in Philadelphia aren’t that plentiful, but they do exist. Here’s a roundup of 15 spots that serve post-midnight eats. [Eater]


Ofc. Fitzgerald’s funeral procession winds through the city this morning to arrive at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on the Ben Franklin Parkway for services, with Mayor Kenney in attendance (11:30 a.m.).


🍺 Billy Penn Quizzo: Our monthly trivia night is back! We’re at Attic Brewing in Germantown this month, with three rounds of questions, happy hour specials, and great prizes for the winners. Free RSVP here. (6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28)

🎤 Mayoral forum: Billy Penn, WHYY, and CeaseFirePA host the “100th Mayor: Restoring Safety Forum.” The in-person audience is limited, but you can watch the livestream via Facebook. (7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 1)

🎸 More than 400 students from the School of Rock take the stage at World Cafe Live for the annual Kids Rock Philly festival and fundraiser. Tickets are $25. (12 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26)