Around Town

Ron’s Ribs founder memorialized with renaming of South Street

City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson was joined by family and friends of the late Ronald K. Washington as the 1600 block of South Street was ceremonially renamed Ronald K. Washington Way on Nov. 3.

The honor recognized and celebrated Washington, founding owner of the legendary Ron’s Ribs, for legacy of dedicated service to the South Philadelphia community. Washington was an active member of the community who ran Ron’s Ribs at 1627 South St. from 1984 until his untimely death in September 2002 at 60 years old.

“The late Ron Washington loved his South Philadelphia community and worked  tirelessly in pursuit of his dreams and serving as an inspiration to African American entrepreneurs and community members,” Johnson said. “Ron was a devoted family man, loving son, husband, father and grandfather. He was also an outstanding neighbor and friend, and his Ron’s Ribs restaurant was one of the must-visit places to go to for soul food in Philadelphia. His legacy lives on through his surviving family members and the many community members whose lives he touched during his time on this earth. It is my honor to lead the way for City Council to ceremonially rename the 1600 block of South Street ‘Ronald K. Washington Way.’ ”

Free admission for veterans, military and Blue Star Families at Revolution Museum

This Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 10-12, the Museum of the American Revolution will pay tribute to America’s first veterans as well as those who continue to serve our nation today. Visitors of all ages can enjoy walking tours, performances and other family-friendly activities. From Nov. 10-12, the museum will offer free admission to veterans, those currently serving in the military and Blue Star Families, courtesy of Comcast NBCUniversal.

Throughout the weekend, the museum will debut its new Pension Project, a series of videos featuring living veterans reading the military pensions of Revolutionary War soldiers to connect the past with the present.

In the Museum’s special exhibit, Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia, visitors can join a museum educator to learn more about a flag captured by black troops at the Battle of the Crater and about the service during the Civil War. Black Founders is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is included with regular museum admission. The exhibition closes on Nov. 26.

Free COPD education sessions

The Temple Lung Center is hosting a free COPD education session to give local patients and caregivers an opportunity to learn from global experts in COPD care about new research, treatments and medications for managing the disease. The patient session will take place on Nov. 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, 201 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd. The session is being held during the 2023 GOLD International COPD Conference, the world’s foremost conference for healthcare providers involved in managing and caring for people with COPD. Attendance is free to individuals with COPD and their caregivers. Valet parking is free. Advance registration is required. Register at

SEPTA tokens will expire Jan. 1

SEPTA informs customers that it will no longer accept tokens for fare payment effective Jan. 1, 2024. The sale of tokens ended in 2018; however, SEPTA has continued to accept tokens on buses and trolleys, and via fare kiosks located at stations and bus loops.

Customers must use any remaining tokens before they expire at the end of the year. Tokens are valued at $2 each and are not redeemable for cash. SEPTA encourages customers to add the value of their tokens to a SEPTA Key card at a fare kiosk. Tokens can be used to load a pass to a Key card, or to add funds to the Travel Wallet feature.

Travel Wallet can be used to pay for trips on all modes, including buses, trolleys, the Market-Frankford Line, the Broad Street Line, the Norristown High Speed Line and Regional Rail. Customers who use Travel Wallet on SEPTA Key are also eligible for two free transfers. SEPTA Key cards cost $4.95 and can be purchased at SEPTA Sales Offices and participating retailers.

Registering a Key card protects the fares in the event it is ever lost or stolen. Customers who register their Key card within 30 days are refunded the $4.95 purchase price in the Travel Wallet. For more information about SEPTA Key, visit or call 855-567-3782. For more information about SEPTA, visit

Calls from fraudsters target seniors and disabled

Secretary of Revenue Pat Browne issued a warning on a scam that is targeting older Pennsylvanians and people with disabilities who have applied for a rebate through the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate program.

According to the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, applicants of the program have been receiving calls from scammers who are asking for their bank account information to facilitate the payment of their rebates through direct deposit. The callers falsely claim they are from the Treasury Department as part of this scheme.

“We want everyone to know that the Treasury Department and the Department of Revenue will never call applicants of this program and ask for their bank information,” Browne said. “No one should give out this sensitive personal information over the phone from an unsolicited caller. If you have any suspicion at all that a call like this is a scam, hang up the phone immediately.”

As a reminder, applicants of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program have the option of including their banking information on their application forms to receive their rebates through direct deposit. Including this information on the application expedites the payment of your rebate, but it is not required. Applicants who do not include their banking information will be mailed a paper check.

You can check the status of your rebate by using the Where’s My Rebate? tool or by contacting the Department of Revenue through the Online Customer Service Center.

City announces artist selected to create Tubman statue

The City of Philadelphia and the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy announced that Alvin Pettit is the winning artist to create Philadelphia’s permanent Harriet Tubman statue. The statue will become the first statue of a black female historical figure in the city’s public art collection and will be located on the northeast apron of City Hall.

Alvin Pettit’s design entitled “A Higher Power: The Call of a Freedom Fighter” was selected by the African American Historic Statue Advisory Committee out of four semi-finalists: Vinnie Bagwell, Tanda Francis, Alvin Pettit and Basil Watson. A fifth semi-finalist, Richard Blake, removed himself from the competition due to being awarded another public art commission.

“In the course of this competition, we witnessed remarkable talent from our semi-finalist artists,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Each depicted a unique vision and told a distinct story about Harriet Tubman through their proposals. Yet, I was struck by Alvin Pettit’s design and how it depicts Harriet Tubman’s likeness, evokes her power and reminds us of her leadership. I was thrilled that the public and our Advisory Committee agreed on Mr. Pettit’s design.”

In a public input survey that OACCE distributed in September 2023, which received nearly 3,000 responses, Alvin Pettit scored the highest in all seven categories, including likeness, essence and emotional and educational qualities. The Advisory Committee considered the public survey results among several other evaluation criteria when selecting the winning artist and statue design.

The Advisory Committee participated in multiple meetings, two rounds of presentations by the artists, reviewed in-depth proposals, asked thoughtful questions of the artists and read hundreds of comments submitted by the public prior to making their selection. The Advisory Committee thought that the story told by Pettit’s design about Harriet Tubman, as a strong leader fighting for freedom, was the best story for Philadelphia.

“Today marks a major milestone for the City of Philadelphia,” said Kelly Lee, Chief Cultural Officer for the City of Philadelphia and executive director of the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy. “The northeast apron of City Hall will serve as a powerful location for Philadelphia’s Harriet Tubman statue. Positioned at the main entrance of City Hall, leadership will be reminded every day that their duty is to fight in service of all Philadelphians.”

“When we embarked on this project, we knew how vital it would be to have an Advisory Committee that represented diverse stakeholders, including public artists, historians, educators, members of Harriet Tubman’s family and high school students,” said Marguerite Anglin, Public Art Director of the Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy. “We are so thankful to the Committee for their hard work, dedication and commitment to this project.”

Wizard Run returns

The Wizard Run returns to Philadelphia on Dec. 9 at 9:30 a.m. Created to bring magic-loving people together in an “inclusive” and lively manner, the Wizard Run will fill South Philadelphia’s Navy Yard with wizards and witches. After switching to virtual races during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Wizard Run has been making its return to in-person races in cities across the U.S. It returns to Philadelphia for the first time since 2019, when almost 2,000 magic lovers joined the run in Chestnut Hill. Registration for the event is still open.

At registration, participants have the opportunity to pick the color of their custom race T-shirt that is offered in four colors – blue, red, yellow and green. Upon race day, they will also receive a custom wizard wand, a custom wizard-themed medal and a butterscotch cream soda from Flying Cauldron. This year, for the first time at a live Wizard Run event, participants will have access to live audio streaming technology, which provides them the option to listen to curated playlists of magic-themed music and tune in to the wizard emcee as they run.

The Wizard Run offers two distances, a 5K and a 1-mile Fun Run. The race is heavily focused on “inclusivity,” welcoming all experience levels, ages and “gender identities.” Costumes are highly encouraged during the event. After the race, the after-party will be hosted by The Cauldron Philly, The Wizard Run’s 2023 title sponsor.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing such a fun and magical event back to the city of Philly,” said Ian Campbell, partner at Run The Day. “We want to make sure that the relaunch of the in-person event in Philly exceeds everyone’s expectations, so we’ve put together some unique and memorable race-day features for our participants, so make sure to come check it out.”

The Wizard Run continues to offer a virtual run option for participants to join in from any location they choose. Virtual participants are invited to run, jog or walk on the road, on the trail or on the treadmill. After completion of the virtual event, participants will be rewarded a custom finishers medal, wand and custom T-shirt in the color of their choice – blue, red, yellow or green.

Apply to become a cop

The Philadelphia Police Department is accepting applications through Nov. 12. Applicants must be at least 20 years old and have a high school diploma. The starting salary is $61,888. Call 215-683-COPS or apply at ••

Mass and gala for St. Martin’s

St. Martin of Tours Church, 5450 Roosevelt Blvd., will hold a unity Mass and 100th anniversary gala on Sunday, Nov. 12. The Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m., followed by the gala at 2 p.m. at Brookside Manor, 50 Bustleton Pike in Feasterville. Tickets cost $50. Call the rectory at 215-535-2987. ••

Run, walk on Veterans Day

The national nonprofit PACT for Animals will hold a 10K, 5K or 1-Mile Patriotic Pup Walk on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, either virtually or at Lower Perkiomen Valley Park, in Oaks.

Check-in starts at 9 a.m., followed by the run and walk at 10. There will be prizes, giveaways and appearances by John DeBella and Eagles No. 1 fan Shaun Young.

Register at ••

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 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 ••

Trip to Bethlehem

The Polish American Cultural Center Museum is sponsoring a trip to Bethlehem, “The Christmas City,” from Dec. 14-16. The tour includes two night accommodations at The Windcreek Hotel and Casino; two $20 vouchers; $70 slot play; a visit to Pines Dinner Theater to see Holly Jolly Christmas, with lunch (BYOB); a tour of “The Lights on the Parkway;” a free day to gamble and shop at the outlets; a visit to the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas shopping and artisans craft markets); and round-trip motorcoach. The cost is $525 per person double occupancy or $700 single. For information and reservations, call Theresa Romanowski at 215-922-1700. ••

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. ••

Free haircuts for veterans

State Sen. Jimmy Dillon invites veterans to join him for a free haircut and some refreshments this Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Torresdale Boys Club, 4500 Linden Ave. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are recommended. Call Connie at 215-695-1020 to secure your spot. ••