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Read the news of the day in less than 10 minutes — not that we’re counting.

Rebuild will finish 72 projects — less than half originally planned

The good news: City leaders say Philly’s Rebuild initiative has secured resources to complete the 72 playgrounds and rec centers on its docket.

  • On the other hand, that’s half as many as originally planned. The Kenney administration’s signature public works project has been rebounding from cost overruns and COVID supply chain issues.

For Philadelphians living in the underserved neighborhoods Rebuild was designed to benefit, Jordan Levy reports, the hardest part is the waiting.

→ A big budget crunch

Shovels outside Disston Recreation Center in Tacony in September 2019 (Rebuild)

Photos from the ‘Philly Phreeze’ polar plunge

The Department of Parks and Recreation’s first annual Philly Phreeze polar plunge fundraiser was a big success.

  • About $65k was raised toward bonuses for lifeguards, officials said, part of a major effort to recruit enough staff so more free pools can open this summer, providing cooling and activity for city families.

It might have been chilly outside, but spirits were high and the energy was electric, photographer Derek Dean reports for BP.

→ Peep the brave pool jumpers 

Philly Phreeze 2023: A polar plunge to raise money for lifeguards so more Philadelphia public pools can open. (Derrick Dean for Billy Penn)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

  • Pa. House Speaker Rozzi, a Democrat who ascended in a surprise bipartisan compromise, is pushing to adopt rules that would allow the minority party more influence — which for the first time in over a decade, is Republicans. [Spotlight PA]
  • Getting a zoning variance for construction in Philly is an increasingly slow process, with ZBA hearings often taking 6 months to arrive, nearly double the pre-pandemic wait time. [Inquirer$]
  • Indego is planning to add 150 new bike share stations over the next 5 years, focusing on underserved neighborhoods. [WHYY]
  • fundraiser for the medical bills of an injured firefighter who fell off a roof in a Kingsessing over the weekend raised tens of thousands of dollars within a day. [GoFundMe6ABC]
  • Philly-based Insomnia Cookies is planning to expand its business north into Canada and across the pond to the UK. [KYW]
  • Mawn, a Cambodian noodle house that will also offer dishes from Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos, opens Thursday near the Italian Market in the former Kalaya spot. [Mawn/Metro]


Mayor Kenney joins Gov. Shapiro in University City at a groundbreaking for Spark Therapeutics’ new $575 million gene therapy center (10 a.m.). Afternoon brings the mayor to a MSB for an update on the city’s Group Violence Intervention program (1 p.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)

🍽️ East Passyunk Restaurant Week features dozens of spots offering three-course prix fixe dinners or lunches at price points between $20 and $55. (Feb. 27 through March 10)

♻️ The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Center City hosts a free opening reception for “Nothing Change, Nothing Strange,” an installation by found-object sculptor Henry Taylor. (6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 1)