Round and round in Franklin Square (Instagram/@jtaflinphotography)

North Philadelphia library not getting fair funding, advocates say

Neighborhood stakeholders at the Cecil B. Moore Library have been told that despite community engagement efforts, renovations may not include some basic features due. to budget limitations. They’re hoping to convince Rebuild — the Kenney admin’s program to renovate rec centers, parks, and libraries — to allocate an additional $500k.

“What we’re really fighting for is enough money to make the library great,” library staffer Kate Goodman told Jordan Levy. “Not just make it fairly functional.”

The Cecil B. Moore Library at 2320 Cecil B. Moore Ave. in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Made in America 2023 is canceled, and no one knows why

In a surprise announcement, organizers yesterday canceled this year’s Made in America festival. The Jay-Z music fest has taken over the Ben Franklin Parkway nearly every Labor Day weekend since 2012. Ticketholders will be refunded, but no other details were provided, leading to tons of speculation. A source told NBC Philadelphia that “ticket sales were not good,” and others have wondered if the lawsuit against co-headliner Lizzo had anything to do with it.

A side theory circulating: It’s the SZA curse! The popular R&B singer, who was set to co-headline, has now postponed or canceled three different Philadelphia performances, Fallon Roth reports.

SZA performs at Day 1 of the 2023 Astroworld Music Festival in Houston. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

• At least 137k Pa. residents have been cut from the state’s Medicaid program following the end of a pandemic-era rule that guaranteed continuous enrollment. Many claim they’re still eligible, but had paperwork issues. [WHYY]

• A bipartisan group of voters filed a legal challenge to remove Jarrett Smith of the Working Families Party from November’s ballot, where he’s trying to mount a challenge to incumbent City Commissioner Republican Seth Bluestein. [Inquirer$]

• Monday night’s severe storms resulted in 2,068 power outages across Philadelphia, with damage from downed trees and scattered debris reported throughout the region. [NBC10]

• Before the Zagar mural on the Painted Bride in Old City is demolished, the Magic Gardens is leading a viewing tour to celebrate it — and registration sold out within a day. [Billy Penn/Magic Gardens]

• PHL Airport now has its own gym and wellness center, featuring treadmills, weights, yoga mats, and a sauna. Day passes are $25, and athletic-wear are available to rent for free. [Philly Mag]

Stage for the taking (or sitting on) in the City Hall courtyard. (Danya Henninger/Billy Penn)

Weekly brief on gun violence prevention (with PCGVR)

We publish this report each week in partnership with the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting

• Philadelphia is suing firearm vendors it says allow “straw purchasing,” aka when someone buys a gun for a person who’s not allowed (often youth). Are lawsuits like this successful? Reporter Sammy Caiola breaks it down. [WHYY] 

• It’s harder to be a kid in Philly than other places, one 13-year-old said, because “as a kid you want to go outside, you want to have fun. But with all this happening, you can barely do that.” [Metro]

• A new podcast episode explores the recent academic finding that media reporting on firearm violence does more harm than good. [It’s All Journalism/Billy Penn]

• RIP Philadelphia teen Amir Izeel Pinkney, who had “a smile that took everything away.” [Philly Obit Project]By the numbers in Philadelphia

  • 26: Shooting victims recorded last week, vs. 36 the week prior. [PCGVR]
  • 1,099: Shooting victims this year so far, down 23% vs. this time last year. [PCGVR]
  • 255: Year-to-date homicides, down 23% vs. last year’s pace; up 38% vs. five years ago [Philly Police]


The mayor’s public schedule is blank today. Kenney, who once found himself in a spat with Jay-Z when his administration tried to move Made in America’s location, expressed his disappointment with the cancelation of this year’s event.


🍹 Billy Penn event: This month’s BP Quizzo trivia night lands at annex. at the Divine Lorraine, in partnership with the North Broad Renaissance. We’ll have happy hour specials and prizes for the winners. Space is limited, so RSVP today. (6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24) 

💿 If you love vinyl, you know about Val Shively’s R&B Records in Upper Darby. A 30-min documentary about the “world’s greatest” record store premieres at Solar Myth o South Broad, with free RSVP. (6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10)

🪩 Dance away your worries at the Mid-Summer Day Fest with Dance Medicine Philly at Fort Mifflin. Tickets are $44-$55. (2:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13) 

📖 Billy Penn is proud to headline the inaugural Philly Story Fest, joining journalists from media outlets around Philadelphia to tell the city’s best stories on stage at the Bok. Early bird tix are $17. (7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5)