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NEast Philly to finish publishing in 2013 7

Nov21

NEast Philly will fold at the end of 2013 after five years serving as a daily news website for Northeast Philadelphia. Below is a letter from Editor/Owner Shannon McDonald.

To all NEast Philly readers-

It is with great sadness that I announce the final month of publication of NEast Philly. The final post will appear on Dec. 31, 2013, and the site will remain static until June, when our web hosting expires. At that point, should another option to host content from this website in perpetuity not have been secured, all content on NEastPhilly.com will cease to exist. Our Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts will remain dormant beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Our phone call tip line will be disabled.

This decision was a very difficult one. I weighed it carefully, and have already  informed our contributors and partners of the news. Everyone who reads this site and interacts with us on social media helped play a role in taking NEast Philly from a small blog in 2008 to the robust daily news site it became. continue reading »

The 12 Days of NEastmas 0

Dec24
File photo/Bill Achuff

File photo/Bill Achuff

Four years ago, we first published the 12 Days of NEastmas, a re-imagined version of the 12 Days of Christmas. It was a fun way to celebrate the one-year anniversary of NEast Philly and to get people talking about the holidays.

This is the last time we’ll publish this song. To each and every one of our readers, we hope you have a happy and safe holiday season and a fantastic 2014. continue reading »

Re-imagining Roosevelt Boulevard 7

Dec13
Roosevelt Boulevard was built with cars in mind. But with much of the nearby areas being residential, can the Boulevard become more pedestrian-friendly? Photo/Kayla Devon

Roosevelt Boulevard was built with cars in mind. But with much of the nearby areas being residential, can the Boulevard become more pedestrian-friendly? Photo/Kayla Devon

A century ago, Northeast Philadelphia didn’t look anything like it does today. Before the mid-20th century, Northeast Philadelphia was all farmland and trailer parks that was home to small Dutch communities like Fox Chase and Burholme, who settled all around the perimeters of the city. It was small-town America at its finest.

That’s where the Roosevelt Boulevard comes in.

The massive 12-lane highway was first proposed in 1902 when Mayor Samuel Ashbridge saw the opportunity to cater to the exponentially booming car industry. Ashbridge wanted to connect the small Dutch communities in the Northeast to the hustle and bustle of center city. Seen as a promising move to propel the city into the future, the Roosevelt Boulevard was constructed, opening in segments in 1903, 1907, 1911 and 1914. It stretched from Broad Street to the edge of Pennypack Creek and cost the city roughly $3.5 million to construct.

And with the Roosevelt Boulevard came the bustling cars, the traffic, the highways, the car dealerships, the businesses, and the major shopping centers. With strong economic growth, city planners switched focus to creating communities around the Boulevard that would support the auto-centric use of it with driveways and garages.

“It was a way of opening up that whole area to residential development,” said Philadelphia City Planner Michael Thompson. continue reading »

Technically Philly: How Northeast High School tripled college-eligible test scores in 6 years 1

Dec3
Photo/Technically Philly

Photo/Technically Philly

As one of the oldest and most diverse schools in Philadelphia, Northeast High School is used to change.

In 2010, the school decided to completely overhaul its Advanced Placement program with the hopes of improving student participation and scores on the AP exams, which many colleges use to dictate acceptance and placement of applicants.

Students and teachers alike responded so positively to these changes that the school saw college-eligible scores nearly triple in just three years.

Read the rest of this story and see video from Technically Philly.

 

Australia has the right idea about retirement [Financial Perspectives] 0

Dec3

With all the focus on Obamacare lately, few people are talking about the looming retirement crisis that the U.S.  is facing. Social Security is scheduled to run out of money by 2033, Medicare is in horrible financial shape, and many of those approaching retirement are not saving nearly enough.

Our politicians have failed to address some of the structural issues in our entitlement programs and the longer we wait to address these issues, the worse we are making things for our children and grandchildren. continue reading »

Iraqi refugees find support from fellows and neighbors in Northeast Philadelphia 0

Nov19
Tariq Numan and his wife Ferdos Hassen (seated) are shown with their children Ziad Ibrahim (left) and Enas Ibrahim. Numan says his family wants "to be in an American community." NewsWorks Photo/Kimberly Paynter

Tariq Numan and his wife Ferdos Hassen (seated) are shown with their children Ziad Ibrahim (left) and Enas Ibrahim. Numan says his family wants “to be in an American community.” NewsWorks Photo/Kimberly Paynter

Hundreds of Iraqis are building new lives in Northeast Philadelphia. They’re simultaneously trying for a fresh start while holding on to their homeland, and even finding some unusual allies.

One of those families lives on a quiet street. The home blends in with the others on the block, but in this house, Layla El Hussain and her family struggle with pain that’s unimagineable for many Philadelphians.

“They killed two of my sons, and the other in the jail,” said El Hussain. “Still now for seven years he is in the jail. I didn’t see him; he didn’t see me. I feel sorry for him and for myself.”

El Hussain came to Philadelphia four and a half months ago to join her children and grandchildren. The grandmother resettled with help from the Nationalities Service Center, a non-profit organization in Philadelphia. The organization offers social, educational and legal services to immigrants and refugees. continue reading »

Affordable Care Act and you [Financial Perspectives] 0

Nov19

This past week brought about some of the most contentious political rancor to date about the Affordable Care Act.  The website problems of Healthcare.gov and the looming deadline have caused the defection of a number of Democrat congressmen who are fearful of the mid-term elections next year.  The challenge is that the decision that the president announced on Thursday to require insurance companies to allow those individuals, who were to lose their coverage effective Jan. 1, to retain their old plans could shake the foundation of the new system.

Despite all of the debating, it seems very unlikely that the whole program will be repealed anytime soon.  If you need insurance, or are being forced to change policies, you need to review the program’s offering to see how you will be affected. continue reading »

Artist plans 5-mile torrent of color along Philly’s Amtrak corridor 0

Nov18
Katharinia Grosse visits the project in the summer (Photo by Steve Weinik)

Katharinia Grosse visits the project in the summer (Photo by Steve Weinik)

SEPTA and Amtrak commuters traveling through Philly can look forward to a lot of color in the spring as Berlin-based artist Katharinia Grosse begins painting dilapidated buildings along the tracks.

Mural Arts Executive Director Jane Golden said riding the train through Philly will be more than just a mode of transportation — it will be an art-viewing experience. continue reading »

Lighthouse Chapel International moving into Northeast Community Center 0

Nov14
Photo/Kayla Devon

Photo/Kayla Devon

The Northeast Community Center on Holme Avenue won’t be empty for very long. New tenants from Lighthouse Chapel International should be moving in within the week, but the community is still concerned with the parking and the pool.

TD Bank foreclosed the property a year ago when the owners, Phoenix Horizons, Inc., could no longer pay back the $1.1 million it borrowed to build an addition.

Rumors of possible buyers filled residents’ ears, but no one seemed likely except for Sant Properties, who came into play last spring. But the owners, brothers Ravinder and Hardeep Chawla — known for their previous legal issues with the city — backed out of buying the property because they couldn’t find tenants.

Jeff Fuchs, owner of Sabra Properties, bought the Northeast Community Center in October.Fuchs’ broker brought the property to his attention, and having known Stan Cohen, the previous owner working with Phoenix Horizons, Inc., Fuchs looked more seriously into the property.

Fuchs comes from a background of working with communities as an ex-vice president of the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Philadelphia’s Klein Branch in Somerton, as well as being the President of Four Quarters Project, a multi-faith teen educational program. He still currently co-owns FLiCK Table Tennis and Performance Center on Blue Grass Road, where he also coaches table tennis players.

“I wanted to make the place something the community can use,” said Fuchs, who first sought out the previous tenants to give them back the space. With no such luck, Fuchs moved on and has been in contact with Home Circle Civic Association President Elsie Stevens about the wants and needs of the community, which included a daycare or “infant school type.”

“I wanted to do my due diligence and listen to the needs of the community,” Fuchs said.  continue reading »

Fox Chase Elementary counselor told to teach or be laid off 1

Nov13
Wanda Raudenbush is one of 37 of her colleagues who were 'force transferred' into teaching positions (Kim Paynter/for NewsWorks)

Counselor Wanda Raudenbush and  37 of her colleagues were ‘force transferred’ into teaching positions NewsWorks Photo/Kimberly Paynter

Wanda Raudenbush does not consider herself a teacher.

Yet for the first two months of school, she woke up every school day, went to Fox Chase Elementary school, and willed herself to teach fourth grade.

For the four years prior she was a guidance counselor. This year she was a teacher.

Such is life in the Philadelphia School District. continue reading »

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