North Philly Residents Raise Cry Against Temple Stadium Plans

A crowd of roughly a hundred gathered at the Church | Rob DiRienzo
A crowd of roughly a hundred gathered at the Church of the Advocate to talk about Temple’s relations with the surrounding community. | Rob DiRienzo

[UPDATE, December 7th] Council President Darrell Clarke‘s spokesperson Jane Roh responds: “The 5th District office was not informed about this meeting; otherwise, an attempt would have been made to address residents’ concerns in person. Regardless, the community knows that Council President Clarke considers advocating on their behalf his office’s top priority. When residents expressed their concerns about an advertising campaign at the Cecil B. Moore SEPTA station, Council President Clarke intervened and the issue was addressed. With regard to Temple University’s proposal to build a stadium in North Philadelphia, Council President Clarke is already involved and advocating for the community. He has made it clear that the concerns of the community must be solicited and considered. If that does not happen, neither will the stadium.”

[ORIGINAL] Frustration dominated the conversation at a community meeting held to discuss the proposed Temple football stadium Thursday night.

About a hundred people, both residents of the community and Temple students, gathered at the Church of the Advocate to talk about the stadium. As I have written before, members of the community surrounding the university are less than thrilled about the prospect of a 35,000-seat stadium smack-dab in the middle of their neighborhood. Preliminary plans have called for the demolition of a recreation center and park that sits on the site, and there has been no word where football fans will park – leaving neighbors fearing that their homes will be bought out by the university.

“My grandfather bought my house in the ‘50s. This is my home,” said Glenda Bryant, who is in her third year at Temple. “I remember being a little girl riding down Broad Street seeing Temple and wanting to be a Temple student. Now, I’m not as proud.” Continue reading “North Philly Residents Raise Cry Against Temple Stadium Plans”

Eagles Fans Honor Victims of Paris Terror Attacks

Philadelphia Paris Solidarity
Photo | Jeff Fusco

Even though the Birds didn’t come out on top, there was a strong sense of unity among fans at the Linc yesterday.

Some paid their respects by flying French flags. Others made signs, including this one which reads “We are all French:”

Photo | Jeff Fusco
Photo | Jeff Fusco

There was a moment of silence before the kickoff of every game in the NFL yesterday. If you listen closely, the one at the Linc punctuated that trademark Philly attitude (warning, NSFW): Continue reading “Eagles Fans Honor Victims of Paris Terror Attacks”

College Protesters: “We Are #Mizzou”

A crowd of about 300 took to the middle of Broad Street Thursday evening to make a point about student debt and racial inequality.

As part of the Million Student March taking place nationwide, students from Temple, Penn, Community College of Philadelphia, and Drexel began at their own campuses and then converged at City Hall. Their demands are familiar: $15 an hour minimum wage, student debt forgiveness, and free education.

But much of the protest’s focus was on race, especially in light of the recent unrest at the University of Missouri and Yale University. Continue reading “College Protesters: “We Are #Mizzou””

SEPTA on Temple-Cecil B. Moore Station Flap: “We Made a Mistake”

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Workers install the signage in August. Screenshot | Temple/YouTube

The Cecil B. Moore stop on the Broad Street Line has been the subject of some embarrassment for SEPTA officials over the past couple weeks.

The balled up remnants of the ads. Photo | Margo Reed, The Temple News
The balled up remnants of the ads sit outside the station. Photo | Margo Reed, The Temple News

Cherry-colored decals coating the station — both at street level and underground —were mysteriously removed two weekends ago following outcry from civil rights activists. According to SEPTA officials, the Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters took issue with the ads. They felt that they were over-the-top and — without signage on the street level indicating the actual name of the station — overshadowed the station’s namesake, a 1960s Philadelphia Civil Rights icon. Continue reading “SEPTA on Temple-Cecil B. Moore Station Flap: “We Made a Mistake””

Philly is Fourth Worst City For Building Wealth

Gorgeous. | Shutterstock.com
Gorgeous. | Shutterstock.com

Of the 18 largest cities in the United States, Philadelphia is the fourth worst for building wealth according to a study from Bankrate.

The study examined five factors: how much you can save after living expenses, the health of the job market, the housing market, access to financial services, and educational opportunities to help advance careers. Continue reading “Philly is Fourth Worst City For Building Wealth”

Temple Stadium Not Cool, Say People Who’d Have to Live Across From It

Temple-row-houses

Temple’s football team is killing it this season, and people are pretty pumped about the prospect of building an on-campus stadium. Significantly less pumped, however, are the residents across the street from the proposed site, who face the potential of a 35,000-seat stadium directly outside their front door.

Proposals being discussed would commandeer Amos Recreation Center, a small playground and swimming pool, and Geasey Field, a large artificial-turf field used by both Temple Athletics and the surrounding community.

Geasey Field, as seen from Freddie Bolden's front stoop.
Geasey Field, as seen from Freddie Bolden’s front stoop.

We talked to several neighbors — including the high school across the street — and none said they had been contacted by the University about the project. Continue reading “Temple Stadium Not Cool, Say People Who’d Have to Live Across From It”

College GameDay Set All Ready for Temple/Notre Dame Game

The ESPN show is expected to draw thousands to Independence Hall tomorrow.

Photo | Rob DiRienzo
Photo | Rob DiRienzo

Market Street between 5th and 6th streets is not a street right now. It’s a TV set.

ESPN’s College GameDay has completely taken over the block in front of Independence Hall for Temple’s big matchup with Notre Dame tomorrow. Police blocked off the street and a heavy private security presence guarded the set.

By 1 p.m., the setting up was pretty much complete, everything was in position. Corporate sponsors had begun giving out freebies to curious passersby. Several cameras, two Jumbotrons and dozens of TVs were at the ready for the show tomorrow, which kicks off at 9 a.m.

On 5th and 6th, traffic was a little bit heavier than normal, but was still moving. Continue reading “College GameDay Set All Ready for Temple/Notre Dame Game”

SEPTA Key Allegedly Maybe Possibly Running By New Year

What to expect from SEPTA’s new payment technology — including the possibility for mobile payment and debit features — and when to expect it.

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SEPTA bus | Jeff Fusco

SEPTA is closing in on launching its smart card fare payment system SEPTA Key, and maybe for real this time. Officials working on the project are now projecting a soft rollout around the New Year.

Project manager Kevin O’Brien said that field tests are continuing over the next couple weeks, which will determine whether or not the e-payment system will be ready by then.

Okay, early in the new calendar year. Cool. Maybe we can stick it out fumbling with tokens for a little while longer. So what’s taken so long?

“This is really a soft rollout,” O’Brien said. “It’s a very complex system, especially to develop on the backend.”

Senior citizens have been testing the mode of payment since earlier this year and now some employees are using it in their travels, but O’Brien said more testing is in order. Continue reading “SEPTA Key Allegedly Maybe Possibly Running By New Year”

#BlackLivesMatter Protesters Crashed Charles Ramsey’s Talk

He remained calm, cool, and collected at the Constitution Center last night.

Ramsey Black Lives Matter
Screenshot | National Constitution Center Video

Philadelphia Police Commissioner and soon-to-be-retiree Charles Ramsey had another run-in with #BlackLivesMatter protesters last night.

Only a few minutes into a talk he was giving at the National Constitution Center on the topic of “Policing in a Democratic society,” protestors intervened mid-sentence with their trademark “Mic check!”:

“I told you,” Philly’s top cop chuckled to moderator Jeffrey Rosen as soon as the chants began.

Unlike previous encounters with protesters from the movement, Ramsey stayed on stage, remained calm, and heard out the protesters — roughly a dozen of them. That was, until other cops (and Park Rangers) in the room thought enough was enough and escorted them out of the room.

The protestors mentioned several controversial cases of use of force, including the videotaped beating of Tyree Carroll in April and the shooting death of Brandon Tate-Brown in December.

“You have everybody’s attention. We can do one of two things: We can either take advantage of it and actually have the kind of dialogue that leads to real change, or we can squander it, just disrupt things,” Ramsey said in response to the protests.

But, he seemed weirdly appreciative of the interruption afterward.

“This was handled differently and we wound up with some good dialogue which is really what this event was about,” Ramsey said, 6 ABC reports.

In September, Ramsey dished out some constructive criticism on the Black Lives Matter Movement after they shut down his at Eastern State Penitentiary appearance.

“I want them to expand their focus, not to stop holding police accountable,” Ramsey said in a September phone interview. “I want them to address the disproportionate amount of violence in our communities.”

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Suspect in Custody, No Injuries, After Germantown’s MLK High Locked Down This Morning

Martin Luther King High School. Image via Google street view.
Martin Luther King High School. Image via Google street view.

This morning, for the third day in a row, class at an educational institution in Philadelphia was disrupted by the specter of gun violence.

Today’s scare: Martin Luther King High School on Stenton Avenue in Germantown.

The school was locked down just before 9 a.m. following a report that an unidentified male student may have had a gun in or in the vicinity of the school, according to a statement released by Philadelphia Police.

District officials said there was never any gun found inside the school and the lockdown was out of an abundance of caution, 6 ABC reports. Continue reading “Suspect in Custody, No Injuries, After Germantown’s MLK High Locked Down This Morning”