RECAP: Looking back on the week that was
• Reparations task force opens applications
Ten months after advocates pushed for the city to create a body that recommends reparations for residents descended from people who suffered U.S. slavery, and four months after a resolution was introduced in City Council, the work of the PHL Reparations Task Force is officially underway. Applications for eight pro-bono spots on the commission are open now through Dec. 15. Applicants must be part of the descendant group and have lived in Philly at least a decade.
[Billy Penn x 2/WHYY/Rep 215]
• Libraries start six-day service
Last week marked the launch of regular six-day service at a handful of Free Library branches, thanks to the return of Saturday hours. When did that last happen? Officials say they haven’t found any record of it, and called it a true game-changer. The plan is to extend it to all locations citywide, though hiring enough staff is still the limiting factor. In NYC, meanwhile, a reduction to six from seven-day service is causing dismay.
[Billy Penn x 2/NY1]
• PHA residents get discounted Zipcar access
Residents of public housing in Philadelphia are getting discounted access to Zipcar vehicles as part of a new program funded by a federal grant. Officials on Friday unveiled eight dedicated car share spots split evenly across four locations near PHA apartment complexes. The access aims to bolster economic mobility by helping make it easier for people to get to doctor’s appointments and job interviews without relying on public transit.
• Local holiday markets proliferate
Looking to buy local this winter season? You’re in luck. Since we published our guide to the many, many holiday markets in the city on Thursday, several new ones have popped up. In addition to the big events like Christmas Village in Love Park and the Made in Philadelphia market at City Hall, options range from vintage items at Thunderbird Salvage to ornaments from McGillin’s Olde Ale House to advent calendars from the German Society.
VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead
• Improvements unveiled for Jewelers’ Row
Things are looking up for the nation’s oldest diamond district. Following the news that the gaping construction hole left by Toll Bros. could be filled with a Pearl Properties apartment tower, this week brings the official unveiling of new streetscape improvements. Already implemented are new lighting and sidewalk planters. Soon to follow is a big overhead gateway arch welcoming visitors. Side benefit of the new sign: an end to the debate over where the apostrophe goes — per renderings, it’ll read “Jewelers’ Row.”
[PlanPhilly 2020/PhillyVoice/Cloud Gehshan]
• Learn how to get your real estate tax credit
Property taxes are a burden for many Philly homeowners, especially because the city does assessments unevenly, so the amount you owe can jump drastically in one year. If that happened to you and your household income is at or below 80% of the area median, there’s a new city program you can take advantage of to get up to $500 credit. Applications are open through Dec. 15, and there are two free webinars this week to learn more.
[WHYY’s PlanPhilly/Phila Gov/Forward]
• Last weekend of the season for car-free MLK Drive
Starting next week, thousands of Philly cyclists and roller bladers may want to find a new place for their Saturday and Sunday exercise. From December through next spring, the wide lanes of MLK Drive will no longer be closed to vehicle traffic over the weekend. The recently renovated side path that follows the roadway along the Schuylkill River will remain open.
[BP 2021/Phila Gov]
• Kelce brothers ride fame into Monday night game
Eagles center Jason Kelce and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce have been on top of the world lately. They followed up their historic Super Bowl faceoff by co-starring in an Amazon Prime documentary and producing what’s become a top-rated weekly podcast. Last week their duet on the Philly Specials’ Christmas album zoomed to No. 1 on iTunes — thanks mostly to Swifties, who turned their fandom to their idol’s new beau. The brothers will clash tomorrow on Monday Night Football, when the Birds head to Kansas City. Q102 radio has banned all Taylor Swift songs in preparation.
Catch up on the previous week
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