RECAP: Looking back on the week that was
• Students protest charter school shutdown
When the founder of one of Philly’s oldest and largest charters retires next year, she plans to shut it down for good. The reason given last week in a letter to parents? She hasn’t found a good successor to run the Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School. She was apparently also upset it only got a 1-year extension after the School Board expressed some concerns. Hundreds of students walked out of class Wednesday to protest the pending closure.
• SEPTA’s AI cameras catch 36,000 violations
Why isn’t your bus showing up? It could be because the symbol you see on your tracker app is a “ghost bus” that’ll never arrive — but more than likely, it was delayed, often by cars blocking designated stops or lanes. SEPTA mounted cameras equipped with AI tech on seven buses, and just released the results: Over the course of three months, it documented 4,000 vehicles blocking lanes on Chestnut and Walnut, and 32,000 cars parked illegally at bus stops in West Philly and Upper Darby.
[Billy Penn/NBC10/Billy Penn]
• Anti-arena activists fundraise for separate studies
The latest move in the battle over whether a new Sixers arena gets built in Center City is a GoFundMe launched by anti-arena organizers. The fundraiser aims to commission a separate set of impact studies, citing doubts around the fairness of the city-commissioned studies the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation was tasked with managing. As of this date, four days after launch, it has raised $2,900 of its $50k goal.
[Billy Penn/WHYY’s PlanPhilly]
• New walk-bike-run trail opens in Fairmount Park
As of yesterday’s ribbon cutting, Fairmount Park’s “Trolley Trail” is officially open, with a unique slanted arch tunnel and lots of history along the way. The 4.5-mile loop follows the path of a former trolley route that wound through the park on both sides of the river, prompting the construction and opening of the Strawberry Mansion Bridge. There are occasional guided hikes, but you can check out the trail on your own whenever you want — a great way to catch the changing foliage of fall.
[Billy Penn/Fairmount Park Conservancy]
VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead
• Mayoral candidates answer questions from kids
As the Nov. 7 election that will determine Philly’s 100th mayor draws closer — the deadline to register is Oct. 23 — the two candidates are beginning to make public appearances. On Tuesday morning, the Please Touch Museum hosts 100 schoolkids from all over the city to ask questions first of Democratic nominee Cherelle Parker, then of Republican nominee David Oh. It’s a closed event, but you can watch the livestream here.
• Cleaning pilot along Kensington’s business corridor
District 7 Councilmember Quetcy Lozada plans to announce a new effort to address the situation on Kensington Avenue. There are various projects underway to stimulate business along the corridor, but drugs are still widely sold and used there. The new “24-hour” cleaning pilot is a collaboration between the city’s Opioid Response Unit, SEPTA, the 24th Police District, Parks & Rec, NKCDC, and others. Details are promised on Monday.
[Billy Penn/Kensington Corridor Trust/WHYY/BP 2018]
• ‘Legacy Reclaimed’ aims to revive 7th Ward history
Philadelphia’s 7th Ward was a thriving neighborhood in modern Center City that was once home to the largest African American population of any northern city. Over the years, the ward’s history has faded, but a new public-private initiative called “Legacy Reclaimed” aims to revive that memory for a new generation. With art installations that will be up through February, it launches this week with an open house tour.
• Phillies take on the Diamondbacks in the NLCS
Having dispatched the Braves last week, the Phillies start their defense of the pennant on Monday in the National League Championship Series vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s a best of 7 series, with the first two games at home. Heads up if you’re planning travel in the area of the sports complex on Tuesday night — all three venues will be active, with the Phils neighbored by the Flyers’ home opener at the Wells Fargo Center and Mexico vs. Germany soccer at the Linc. There’s free rides on the Broad Street Line if you want to avoid car traffic.
[Billy Penn/Yahoo Sports/NHL/Linc]
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