Around Town

Whitman Council hosts back-to-school drive

Whitman Council is hosting a back-to-school drive through Aug. 25. New school supplies can be dropped off at the office at 3rd and Porter. All new school supplies are needed.

Scanlon, Boyle, Evans call for action following shooting 

Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon and Congressmen Brendan Boyle and Dwight Evans released a statement in response to the mass shooting that occurred in Kingsessing on July 3.

“Over the July 4th holiday, five of our neighbors lost their lives, and four others were injured in a random, premeditated killing carried out with an assault rifle. We are praying for their loved ones and for a speedy recovery for those injured during this cowardly act of senseless violence.

“In the midst of this tragedy, we are grateful for the swift and heroic response by the Philadelphia Police Department, and particularly officers from the 12th District. Their immediate response to the victims of the shooter and apprehension of the armed suspect no doubt prevented further terror and chaos.

“The trauma inflicted on this community is unimaginable – but it is preventable.

“The violent disruption of a day that symbolizes our nation’s fundamental values of freedom and unity is a harrowing reminder that this is not the freedom our founders imagined. It is inconceivable that the founders who prioritized ensuring domestic tranquility and promoting the general welfare would not embrace common-sense measures necessary to protect the lives of American children and families. It’s time to prioritize human lives over political divisions and enact the change our communities desperately need.

“House Democrats are working right now to pass common-sense gun safety legislation that strengthens background checks and keeps dangerous weapons off our streets. On June 13, we introduced three discharge petitions that would ban assault weapons, require universal background checks and close the Charleston loophole, providing the opportunity to advance common-sense gun reforms despite obstruction by Speaker McCarthy and the Republican majority. We’ve seen just how powerful an assault weapons ban can be with the 1994-2004 assault weapons ban that significantly reduced the number of deaths and injuries from mass public shootings. We are once again calling upon Republican leaders to stand up to the gun lobby and bring this legislation to a vote in the House of Representatives.

“We must take action to create a safer society where individuals can exercise their rights responsibly while also curbing the senseless loss of innocent lives.”

Dell Music Center announces season-opening lineup

The Dell Music Center announced the opening of its popular summer concert season, delayed this year by a $7 million state-of-the-art renovation to the stage, lower offices, bathrooms and green room.

The iconic outdoor Parks & Recreation venue at 2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive will open Aug. 16 with a family-friendly cultural night featuring Philadanco and other Philadelphia artists.

And continues with a five-week lineup (schedule below). All shows start at 7 p.m., with gates opening at 5:30 p.m.

The Aug. 16 show will be “free” to the public, but tickets are required for entry. Tickets can be picked up at the Dell Music Center box office beginning July 17 at 10 a.m. Season tickets are not available.

Tickets for the Aug. 17 gospel concert featuring CeCe Winans & Friends are on sale now and are priced from $45 to $75 at

Tickets for the Essence of Entertainment Concert Series shows range in price from $45 to $95, plus a $5 facility fee. Ticket prices are subject to change.

No bags larger than 4”x6” will be allowed in the venue. Parking will continue to be free.

2023 Dell Music Center Essence of Entertainment Summer Concert Series

Aug. 17 – CeCe Winans, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard, Tauren Wells
Aug. 24 – The O’Jays, Dave Hollister, Carol Riddick
Aug. 31 – Jagged Edge, Silk, Next, KeKe Wyatt
Sept. 9 – Gregory Porter, Leela James, Jeff Bradshaw
Platinum Productions’ “Grown Folks” Labor Day Weekend Concerts

Sept. 2 – Patty Jackson’s Party in The Park, featuring the Whispers, Heatwave, Zapp Band and the Chi-Lites.
Sept. 3 – Lady B’s Basement Party featuring MC Lyte, Stetsasonic, C.L. Smooth, Brand Nubians, Kool Moe Dee, Force MDs and Soul Sonic Force.
For more information visit

Seaport Museum expands paddling hours

Independence Seaport Museum is expanding the operating hours of its family-friendly on-water program, Paddle Penn’s Landing. Through July, Paddle Penn’s Landing will expand its hours from 3 p.m. to dusk on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays and from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The expanded hours allow visitors more opportunities to enjoy an afternoon of fun under the sun paddling around the Penn’s Landing basin in a paddleboat.

Paddle Penn’s Landing will continue through Sept. 3. Small paddle boats are available for $25 per boat for 30 minutes and can accommodate up to two adults and a child. Large paddle boats are $45 per boat for 30 minutes and can hold four adults and a child. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance on ISM’s website.

On select Fridays, from June to October, ISM will host the first Cruiser Olympia Speakeasy Pop-Up Experience, where guests can enjoy an evening of drinks, music and games aboard the oldest floating steel warship. The Museum is also unveiling new admission packages that provide guests with various options for exploring its exhibitions and historic ships including Cruiser Olympia and Submarine Becuna.

PA House passes ‘Solar for Schools’ legislation 

Solar for Schools passed the state House with bipartisan support in a 134-69 vote on June 29. The effort establishes a program to provide grants to install solar arrays 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 0-20 percent, plus costs associated with operation and maintenance.

The vote comes after state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler toured schools with solar arrays across the commonwealth.

“I’ve seen firsthand the value that solar arrays bring to schools and taxpayers alike,” Fiedler said. “Solar reduces costs for school districts and taxpayers, limits our carbon footprint and creates new jobs. I am thrilled Solar for Schools has passed the House. This legislation merges labor and environmental priorities to increase renewable energy production and create local family-sustaining jobs.”

Support for Solar for Schools is bipartisan and diverse, including labor, environmental, educational and industry groups. From the Evangelical Environmentalist Network to the Pa Building Trades, organizations across the commonwealth are putting their full weight behind the legislation.

“AFT Pennsylvania is proud to be a member of such a broad coalition of public education advocates, labor and environmental groups, convened by Rep. Fiedler, to help the Solar for Schools grant program come to fruition,” said Arthur Steinberg, president of AFT PA. “We’re especially proud that this bill has passed the House with bipartisan support. We urge the Senate to bring this legislation up for a vote, and for the governor to sign it into law.”

Fiedler said she is hopeful the legislation gets a vote in the Senate and makes its way to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk.

“I am excited this bill made its way out of the House, and I am hopeful the Senate will bring it up for a vote soon,” Fiedler said. “Solar for Schools is good legislation that has a myriad of benefits for the environment, schools, industry and taxpayers. I’ve said it before: This legislation is a win-win-win-win.”

City’s compositing program begins

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation joined Bennett Compost and city, state and federal officials to celebrate the next stage of an innovative public-private partnership that promises to dramatically reduce the food waste produced by the city’s 150-plus recreation centers.

With support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Department of Agriculture, the new program will see food waste collected from city recreation centers composted on city parkland for the first time, at a newly opened composting facility operated by Bennett Compost.

Through the partnership, PPR will receive 75 cubic yards of finished compost from Bennett each spring, which will be distributed to PPR’s network community gardens and orchard.

“The Parks & Rec meal program provides a vital service to Philadelphia families,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Interim Commissioner Orlando Rendon. “By partnering with Bennett to recycle the food waste produced at our rec centers, we are taking steps to create a more sustainable system. Thanks to partners like Bennett, the EPA and the USDA, we are finding new ways for city government and small businesses to create meaningful changes that make Philadelphia a healthier, more sustainable place to live.”

As the city’s second-largest provider of youth meals, Parks & Rec is committed to reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills. Using Bennett Compost’s curbside pickup model, the program collects pre-sorted food waste generated on site from meals served during recreational programming. Once fully operational, the city estimates it will recycle as much as 150 tons of food scraps from rec centers each year.

“Bennett Compost is excited to partner with Parks & Rec to bring composting to neighborhood rec centers throughout Philadelphia,” said Bennett Compost co-owner Tim Bennett. “We hope that the first-of-its-kind composting permit developed for this project will allow community-scale composting to expand throughout the city of Philadelphia and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We are grateful for the opportunity provided by Parks & Rec and the continued support of all our partners at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and in the community.”

The program is made possible thanks to a public-private partnership with Bennett Compost. Bennett receives a long-term lease to run its commercial composting operation out of a vacant Parks & Rec facility in exchange for providing free curbside compost pickup to the city’s 150-plus recreation centers and playgrounds.

The facility at ​5650 Rising Sun Ave. represents Bennett Compost’s first fully permitted operation in the city. A growing local business since being selected through a competition RFP process to operate the city facility, Bennett has doubled its full-time workforce and tripled the number of formerly incarcerated people it employs.

Curbside food waste pickup began at select city rec centers in fall 2021. Today, the program has expanded to offer weekly collections from 50 committed recreation centers. All food waste collected from recreation centers is recycled into compost on-site at the Bennett Compost facility on Rising Sun Avenue.

Conflict resolution in school

Legislation introduced by state Rep. Anthony Bellmon and House Speaker Joanna McClinton passed the House, 102-101, and is headed to the Senate for consideration. All Democrats voted for the bill. All Republicans voted against it. The bill would require public schools to provide instruction on conflict resolution to all students. The instruction would include topics such as skills of conflict resolution; respect for different cultures, races and beliefs; effectively managing emotions; and how to resolve differences peacefully.

“In areas across the commonwealth, such as Philadelphia, we’re seeing far too many young lives taken by gun violence,” Bellmon said. “It’s imperative that our children know that conflicts can be resolved in a non-violent way, and that’s why I introduced this bill that can help prevent unnecessary violence and even save lives.” ••

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 are at 9801 Frankford Ave. and online. Class days and times are online (through Aug. 24, Tuesday and Thursday, 6-7 p.m.) and in person (through 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 ••

Opera shows

Amici Opera Company has the following upcoming performances:

Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci on Sunday, July 16, at 2:30 p.m. at Dock Woods, 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale. The show will also take place on Tuesday, July 18, at 6 p.m. at La Piovra, 7901 High School Road, Elkins Park. The cost is $54.95 (not including tax and tip) and includes dinner. Make a reservation at 215-606-3800.

Verdi’s Oberto on Sunday, July 23, at 3 p.m. at United Methodist Church of the Redeemer, 1128 Cottman Ave.

Verdi’s Rigoletto on Sunday, July 30, at 3 p.m. at United Methodist Church of the Redeemer, and Sunday, Aug. 6, at 2:30 p.m. at Dock Woods.

DeBussy’s Pelleas & Melisande on Saturdays, Aug. 5 and 12, at 4 p.m. at United Methodist Church of the Redeemer.

Call 215-224-0257 or go to the Amici Opera Company page on Facebook. ••

Free art workshop

Ryerss Museum & Library, 7370 Central Ave., in Burholme Park, will host Ryerss History in Color: an Art Workshop on Saturday, July 15, at 1 p.m. The art workshop is free and for kids and adults. Artist Linda Fernandez will guide a hands-on art-making workshop inspired by the stained glass windows of Ryerss Museum. After viewing the stained glass windows of the house and learning about the history of the Ryerss Museum, participants will create their own faux stained glass masterpiece to take home. All materials will be provided. Register online at or search Ryerss Museum and Library on ••

Travel solo

Starr Bus Charter and Tours is planning its next solo trip to Corning, New York on July 26-27. The trip will feature visits to the Corning Museum of Glass and the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum. Travelers will explore 35 centuries of glass artistry, experience hands-on glass making, see historic aircraft and meet the craftsmen that restore them. There will be a buffet dinner and overnight hotel accommodations as well as a scenic boat ride on Seneca Lake. Call 609-587-0626. ••

Book club meeting in August

The Book Club of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim will be holding a Zoom session on Monday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m. The book is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. To register, call Lynn Ratmansky at 215-677-1600. ••

Farm stand at Jeanes

Temple University Hospital – Jeanes Campus, 7600 Central Ave., has a farm stand that is open Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October. The stand is located next to parking lot C of Jeanes Campus and the Fox Chase Cancer Center Campus. Call 215-728-4861 or email ••

Parkinson’s support group

Temple University Hospital – Jeanes Campus is offering a Parkinson’s disease support group for those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and their families. The group will meet on the second Wednesday of every other month from 6-7 p.m. at the Cheltenham Friends Meetinghouse, 7604 Central Ave. The schedule is Aug. 9, Oct. 11, Dec. 13 (holiday party) and Feb. 14. The group is led by nurse practitioner June Ro, and will include guest speakers. To register, contact Ro at 215-707-2619 or ••

Israeli Scouts performance

Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, will host a performance of the Israeli Scouts Friendship Caravan on Wednesday, Aug. 2. The evening will start at 6:15 p.m. with a pay-as-you-wish pasta dinner, followed by Israeli music and dancing by the Scouts scheduled for 7:30. Call 215-677-1600 to make your reservation. ••

Day cruise

The Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation is sponsoring a day trip on Tuesday, Aug. 22, that includes a narrated luncheon cruise on the “River Lady” paddlewheel out of Toms River, cruising on the Toms River and Barnegat Bay and free time on the Asbury Park boardwalk.  All-inclusive cost is $118. Call 215-788-9408. ••

Third Thursday at Glen Foerd

Glen Foerd, Philadelphia’s public park and nonprofit cultural site along the Delaware River, presents the return of its free Third Thursday Summer Series of live music, food, family-fun activities and art. The Thursday dates will be July 20 and Aug. 17, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The public is invited to bring a blanket or chairs, enjoy lawn games, roam Glen Foerd’s grounds and explore its Gilded Age mansion, which will be open for free self-guided tours. Donations are appreciated but not required, and attendees are asked to register in advance by visiting Glen Foerd’s events page at For more information on the Third Thursday Summer Series, visit or call 215-632-5330. ••

Broadway show

The Marlyn Chakov Fein Chapter, Fox Chase Cancer Center is running a bus trip to New York on Saturday, Sept. 30, to see the Broadway production of Some Like It Hot. The cost is $230, which includes orchestra seating and round-trip motor coach. Bus leaves from 604 Township Line Road, Cheltenham, at 9:15 a.m. Call Harriet at 215-969-8366 for tickets. The event supports cancer research and compassionate patient care at Fox Chase Cancer Center. ••

VFW looking for members

Bustleton-Somerton/CTR1 Michael J. Strange VFW Post 6617 meets on the third Wednesday of every month at American Legion Post 810, 9151 Old Newtown Road. Meetings start at 7:30 p.m. If you are a military veteran who served in a designated combat zone, you are eligible to join the VFW. Contact Commander Israel Wolmark at 215-725-0630 if you would like to join the post. ••

Save at Boscov’s

The Marlyn Chakov Fein Chapter, Fox Chase Cancer Center is partnering with Boscov’s “Friends Helping Friends” on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at all Boscov’s locations, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. The group is selling a shopping pass for $5, which can represent savings of up to 25% off purchases. Call Shirley at 215-530-6637 to purchase shopping passes. The profits of the event will be donated to Fox Chase Cancer Center to support cancer research and compassionate patient care. ••

Casino trip

The Marlyn Chakov Fein Chapter, Fox Chase Cancer Center is running a casino trip to Wind Creek Bethlehem casino on Sunday, Aug. 13. The cost is $45 and includes round-trip motor coach and $25 in slot dollars. Bus will leave from 604 Township Line Road, Cheltenham, at 9:45 a.m. and return about 8 p.m. Call Elaine at 215-913-9237 for reservations. The event supports cancer research and compassionate patient care at Fox Chase Cancer Center. ••

Trip to Ohio, Kentucky

St. Jerome’s Senior Citizens Club invites the public to join them for a five-day trip (Oct. 15-19) to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum, with a guided tour of Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky. For reservations, questions or a brochure, call Diane McDowell at 267-496-2431. ••

Program for nonprofits

Cranaleith Spiritual Center, 13475 Proctor Road, will present No Margin, No Mission: Taking Your Nonprofit to the Next Level of Success on Wednesday, July 26, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Duane Carter will lead the program, which includes a light breakfast, lunch, workshop and a copy of his book, No Margin, No Mission. The cost is $97. To register or for more information, call 215-934-6206 or visit ••

Upcoming cruise

The Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation is sponsoring a fully escorted Holy Lands & Aegean Majesty cruise from Oct. 6-17, visiting Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Italy. Rates, including airfare, range from $4,298 to $8,098 per person, double occupancy. Call 215-788-9408 for information and reservations. ••

Cruise the Mediterranean

Norwegian Cruise Line will host a Mediterranean cruise from Rome to Venice on Oct. 10-19. The trip is all inclusive with round-trip airfare, a beverage package, all meals, three specialty dinners, taxes, transfers and all gratuities. The cost for a balcony sea view cabin is $3,511 per person. For more information, contact Fillmore Travel’s Kevin Fries at 215-498-8294 or ••

South Phila. HS class of ‘68 reunion

The South Philadelphia High School Class of 1968 will hold its 55th reunion on Saturday, Oct. 21, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Waterfall Room, 2015 S. Water St. Tickets cost $60 and include buffet dinner and open bar. For tickets and more information, call Arleen Liberi [609-922-2419], Maria Leati [856-287-3734] or Stephen Michielli [267-252-2740]. ••