Around Town

Free Philly Orchestra concert

The Philadelphia Orchestra will present Our City, Your Orchestra Live, a free concert on Wednesday, May 31, at 7 p.m. at Northeast High School. The concert will feature works by Leonard Bernstein, John Williams, Valerie Coleman and others, along with a performance by the Northeast High marching band. The evening will include food trucks, games, face painting, moonbounces and balloon art. The orchestra will include contrabassoonist Holly Blake, a Northeast High graduate. Reserve tickets at ••

River Twice switching formats

River Twice at 1601 E. Passyunk Ave. is transitioning to a single-menu format on June 1 for the summer season. The restaurant will operate for dinner from Thursday to Monday night, and chef Randy Rucker’s menu will change every two weeks. There will be a number of add-ons available as well as a beverage program featuring wine pairings and summer cocktails.

House committee approves Solar for Schools legislation

The House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee voted unanimously in support of House Bill 1032, state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler’s Solar for Schools legislation.

Solar for Schools would provide grants to install solar to public K-12 schools, community colleges and career technical schools across Pennsylvania. The program would fund 50 percent of the cost of project construction. Federal funds from the Inflation Reduction Act would cover 30-50 percent of the remaining installation costs, with school districts responsible for the remaining zero to 20 percent, plus costs associated with operation and maintenance.

The vote comes on the heels of Fiedler’s tour of solar arrays at various schools across Pennsylvania.

“I’ve been able to see firsthand the value that solar arrays bring by reducing costs for school districts and taxpayers, limiting our carbon footprint, and creating new jobs,” Fiedler said. “I am thrilled Solar for Schools passed the committee. This legislation merges labor and environmental priorities to improve our environment and bring new jobs to our commonwealth.”

Fiedler said the legislation bridges green and blue industries and has garnered support from a diverse group of stakeholders, including Pennsylvania Building Trades, AFT Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania School Boards Association and environmental groups.

School districts will also financially benefit from the legislation, cutting costs and providing a green alternative to traditional forms of electricity. Fiedler said she is hopeful the bill will pass out of the House next month.

“This legislation has bipartisan support thanks to its benefits of creating family-sustaining jobs, saving schools and taxpayers money, and increasing PA’s renewable energy production,” Fiedler said. “I am excited for this legislation to pass through the House and then be sent to the Senate.”

Intercultural Family Services names new CEO

Philadelphia based nonprofit Intercultural Family Services has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Javier Alvarado, to tackle behavioral health needs and services for many of Philadelphia’s “underserved” communities. Intercultural Family Services Inc. is an independent nonprofit human services agency. Alvarado has more than 30 years of social work and behavioral health experience and 25 years of leadership experience. Most recently Alvarado served as the Executive Director of Social Work at Yale New Haven Health System. Alvarado succeeds Michael Kellerman, who has served as interim CEO for the last 15 months.

‘The Yard’ open for the season

South Bowl, 19 E. Oregon Ave., is open for the season for an outdoor backyard experience called “The Yard.”

The 5,000-square-foot outdoor oasis was added in 2019 bringing outdoor entertainment to South Philly. The Yard complements a 25,000-square-foot indoor bi-level bowling and entertainment space, which opened in 2015 at a former tomato and vegetable packing plant.

The Yard is home to slow and fast-pitch batting cages, two 40-foot-long bocce courts, shuffleboard, horseshoes, an outdoor arcade area with billiards and a full bar with lounge seating. The Yard will also offer rotating food, drink and batting cage specials during the season.

Inside is a stylish retro bowling space, accommodating 600 guests and boasting 26

bowling lanes, two full-sized bars, multiple lounges and a rooftop deck. Another highlight of the facility is its extensive mix of games, from billiard tables to over 20 retro arcade games, foosball, darts and air hockey. Both areas are served by a kitchen and pizza bar and adult beverages.

Activities on the Delaware River

Paddle Penn’s Landing has reopened for the 2023 season, allowing visitors to enjoy an afternoon of fun under the sun paddling around the Penn’s Landing basin in a paddleboat. On select dates throughout the summer, guests can also choose from four specially curated Kayak Excursions designed to give unique perspectives of the Delaware River.

Starting June 9, Independence Seaport Museum will host the Cruiser Olympia Speakeasy Pop-Up Experience, a brand new adults-only event where guests can step back in time aboard the oldest floating steel warship in the world. From 6 to 9 p.m., ISM will turn the historic ship into a 1920s speakeasy where the crew is dressed in period uniforms. Guests can enjoy a night of drinks, music and games. The Speakeasy is offered on select Friday evenings from June to October, with advanced tickets available for $30 and $35 at the door.

Scanlon bill would expand mentoring for foster youth

Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, chair of the Congressional Youth Mentoring Caucus and the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, introduced the Foster Youth Mentoring Act to address the need for programs that support the country’s most vulnerable young people.

“Before coming to Congress, I spent decades working as a child advocate, seeing firsthand the difference a trusted, caring adult can make in the life of vulnerable young people,” said Scanlon. “At-risk youth with consistent, long-term volunteer and peer mentor relationships are much more likely to enroll in college, hold leadership positions, attend their classes and obtain stable housing – but one in three of our young people grow up without a mentor. I’m proud to lead federal efforts to fund local evidence-based foster youth mentoring programs that can result in a meaningful improvement in young people’s lives and substantial cost savings for the child welfare system when implemented at scale.”

Mentoring programs that serve children with adverse childhood experiences, such as youth in foster care, require about double the resources per youth than general community-based mentorship programs. Studies prove that mentoring services for foster youth are effective interventions that positively impact mental health, educational functioning and attainment, peer relationships, placement outcomes and life satisfaction. The Foster Youth Mentoring Act would create a comprehensive federal grant program to provide foster youth with healthy volunteer and peer mentor relationships and expand and enhance mentoring programs that serve foster youth and former foster youth.

Scanlon pushes for action to address black maternal health crisis

Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon joined a bicameral group of colleagues in introducing the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, historic legislation to save moms’ lives and address every driver of maternal mortality, morbidity and disparities in the United States.

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any high-income country, and it is rapidly getting worse. Recent data from the CDC show that maternal deaths in recent years have increased by a dramatic 40 percent. But there is hope: More than 80 percent of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable.

Led by Sen. Cory Booker, Reps. Lauren Underwood and Alma Adams and sponsored by Black Maternal Health Caucus members, the package of 13 evidence-based bills would make critical investments to address social determinants of health, provide funding for community-based organizations, grow and diversify the perinatal health workforce, expand access to maternal mental health care, address the effects of climate change on maternal and infant health, and improve data collection processes.

“Every mother in our community deserves to live a happy, healthy life with her baby,” said Scanlon. “But tragically, our country has the worst maternal health outcomes in the developed world, and black women are three times more likely to die from childbirth than white women. I’m proud to join Reps. Adams, Underwood and Sen. Booker in introducing this sweeping package of bills that addresses every driver of the crisis and makes the investments moms need to have safe and healthy pregnancies. I’m calling on my colleagues to pass the full package immediately.”

Burrs at the Beach

The 34th annual Burrs at the Beach will take place on Sunday, June 25, from 1-6 p.m. at Keenan’s Pub in North Wildwood. Proceeds will benefit needy Catholic students at West Catholic with tuition financial support.

The cost is $30 and includes buffet, reduced drink prices, raffle prize, band and DJ. Must be 21 or older.

Call George Light (‘58), 610-996-2015; Peg (Sheffield) Panichelli (‘65), 610-420-0987; or Tom McGinn (‘65), 610-461-6241.

Proper handwashing techniques

Essity, a global hygiene and health company, as well as a producer of professional hygiene products, recently conducted a survey to assess what, if anything, the pandemic has taught people about proper hand-hygiene behaviors. Essity surveyed people 18 and older living in the Delaware Valley to determine the area’s “grade” on its first Handwashing Report Card. Survey results were merely “Satisfactory” overall, leaving room for improvement and further education.

Most notably, while those surveyed do still seem to be partaking in handwashing behaviors and practices (receiving a grade of “Outstanding”), they could use some improvement on their knowledge of proper handwashing techniques (“Needs Improvement”).

“It’s important to not only wash your hands, but to wash them properly,” said Amy Bellcourt, vice president of Communications, Professional Hygiene, for Essity North America. “Not understanding or following proper hand-hygiene practices poses a significant threat to our individual and communal health. The COVID-19 pandemic saw a shift in how seriously we take preventing the spread of germs. And while we have definitely moved past sanitizing every home-delivery box and our groceries, practicing proper handwashing is still one of the most effective ways we can help prevent spreading germs.”

Proper handwashing techniques:

• Wash for no less than 20 seconds.

• Water at any temperature will suffice as long as hands are washed with soap for at least 20 seconds.

• Use soap. (Any kind will prevent spread of germs.)

• Do not air-dry; wet hands spread germs more easily.

• Use single-use paper towels to dry hands most effectively.

Bellcourt said, “These simple handwashing steps can create safer environments at home, at school, at work and at play. At Essity, we are committed to providing hygiene solutions that are affordable, sustainable and attainable for all.” ••

Cornhole at St. Martha

St. Martha Parish, 11301 Academy Road, will host a Cornhole Tournament on June 17, at 11 a.m. The cost is $50 a team (all ages) and includes two tournament T-shirts and a chance to win a cash prize. There will be basket raffles, a 50-50, craft beer pull, food, kids crafts and T-shirt sales. Proceeds will benefit the parish Raising the Roof campaign. Teams must register and place T-shirt orders by June 3. To register, to become a sponsor or for more information, go to the St. Martha Facebook page or call Kathy Cantz at 215-632-4742 or Mary Beth Ricks at 215-459-3430. ••

English classes for Ukrainians

Holy Family University’s English as a Second Language initiative for newly arrived Ukrainian adults is accepting new applicants. The classes are free and open to members of the community who are at least 18 years old. Classes start in June at 9801 Frankford Avenue and online. Class days and times are online (June 6 to Aug. 24, Tuesday and Thursday, 6-7 p.m.) and in person (June 21 to July 31, Mondays and Wednesdays, 5-7 p.m.). Since last fall, more than 100 newly arrived Ukrainians have attended classes at no cost to help them improve their English proficiency and become familiar with the Philadelphia community. Interested applicants can register at ••

Hoops camp for boys and girls

The 17th annual Jaguar St. Ephrem Basketball Camp for Boys and Girls will take place from Monday, July 24, to Friday, July 28. The cost is $150 and includes a basketball and T-shirt. The camp is held in the air-conditioned Marian Center at St. Ephrem Parish, 5400 Hulmeville Road in Bensalem. The camp is under the direction of former college coach Dan Williams. For more information, email Williams at ••

5K for charity

Madison’s Miracles Inc. a charity in memory of Fox Chase native Madison Klepesky – will present the Flying Angels 5K on June 10 at 8 a.m. in Beaufort, South Carolina. Sponsorships are available at $1,250, $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000. To make a donation, send checks payable to Madison’s Miracles Inc. to 4 Fox Sparrow Road, Beaufort, SC 29907. For more information, call 267-226-9500, visit or email

Madison Klepesky, a St. Cecilia and St. Hubert graduate, was 18 when she died in a car accident caused by a speeding drunk driver in 2021 in South Carolina. She was a student at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. She would have turned 20 on June 10, the day of the 5K. ••

Franklin Mills flea market has opened

The Roosevelt Mall flea market has closed due to major construction and total renovations of the mall, with additional retail stores being built where the market operated. Philadelphia Flea Markets has moved to Liberty Plaza, at Liberty Bell and Franklin Mills boulevards, just off Knights Road. The market will operate every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., through November. For more information, call Tony at 215-625-FLEA or log onto ••