RECAP: Looking back on the week that was
• Address mishap spurs 911 scrutiny
Police are investigating and city leaders are looking for solutions to bolster Philly’s 911 center (understaffed since the pandemic) after dispatchers sent officers to North instead of South 56th Street, a mistake that let the Kingsessing mass shooter’s first killing remain undiscovered for two days. Authorities originally said the person found dead in his home was shot the same day as six others. Now it turns out the medical examiner knew the person died at least 30 hours before the others — but didn’t tell the police right away.
• Overhaul begins at Broad and Erie
Plans to revamp the busy intersection where Germantown Avenue cuts across North Broad at Erie Avenue — where Max’s Steaks holds court, and where the Beury/Boner4ever building is being turned into a mixed-use hotel — are finally underway with last week’s groundbreaking. The two triangle plazas are being enlarged by 60% and 40%, respectively, adding green space and making the crossings safer for pedestrians. Target completion date is end of 2024.
[Phila Gov/BP x 2/WHYY’s PlanPhilly]
• Enter the Philly Phlush
They really did it — or rather, we did: Philadelphians voted for “Phlush” as the official name of the city’s new public restrooms. Last week brought the opening of the Center City Phlush, which offers graffiti-proof walls, a toilet, sink, hand sanitizer, first aid, and other supplies next to Thomas Paine Plaza. That space is slated to become a new public park, with benches, shade, and lots of trees.
[Phila Gov/BP/NBC10/Billy Penn]
• Series celebrates NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain
Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Wilt Chamberlain went on to become one the greatest basketball players ever, notching unparalleled stats like his famous 100-point game. Last week saw the premiere of “Goliath,” a new Showtime docuseries based on Chamberlain’s life and career, which included seasons with the Philadelphia Warriors and then Sixers. Of note: one of his teammates on the 1960s Sixers was fellow Philadelphian Wali “Wonder” Jones, who’s being commemorated with a new mural unveiled Saturday in Mantua.
VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead
• Effects of state budget impasse
With no budget in place and the legislature not due back in session until September, Pennsylvania could be without a budget for a while. The last time there was an extended impasse was under Wolf’s first budget in 2015, when a spending plan wasn’t approved for nine months. That kind of delay could be harmful to some county-led programs and devastating to nonprofits that depend on state funding, leaders say, with effects felt as soon as this month.
[City & State/Capital-Star/WESA]
• Construction starts on Cobbs Creek Golf Course
A Monday ceremony will mark the start of construction to restore Cobbs Creek Golf Course, a defunct muni known for welcoming women and Black golfers at a time they were often banned. The revival has been met with some pushback, with environmentalists decrying tree loss and potential for flooding, but plans are moving forward. Tiger Woods’s firm is partnering on the design, and his foundation is building a 30,000-sq.-ft. education facility on the site.
[Golf Digest/BP/WHYY’s PlanPhilly/TGR Design]
• Industrial building → affordable apartments
More than 40 years after Impact Services first acquired the old mill building at the corner of A and Indiana in Kensington, and 20 years after starting the redevelopment process, the workforce nonprofit has completed its goal of transforming the 140,000-sq.-ft. space into a mixed-use affordable housing hub. A Thursday ribbon-cutting will unveil four dozen family units plus office space, including the new Impact HQ.
• Ice Cream Festival on Filbert
Instead of car traffic, Filbert Street outside Reading Terminal this Saturday will be filled with sweet frozen treats, as Bassetts hosts a dozen other vendors for the market’s annual Ice Cream Festival. Look for scoops from Zsa’s, El Merkury, Milk Jawn, Weckerly’s, Helados Chupi Chupi, Fiore, Tubby Robot, Cloud Cups, Frutero, and others, along with activities like an ice cream cone race, ice cream shuffleboard, and gingerbread beach house building.
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