Schuylkill River Park Community Garden                                                                             CCRA Green Committee          


News Blog

  • 17 Feb 2022 3:57 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Philadelphia police say a man is in the hospital after he was shot during a dispute over a parking lot in Center City Thursday afternoon.

    The shooting occurred in the area of 17th and Chestnut streets just after 1:50 p.m.

  • 16 Feb 2022 3:27 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    The Markward Recreation Center building has reopened after flooding closed the building in the wake of Hurricane Ida. Bathrooms are now accessible during rec center open hours (10-6pm Monday - Friday). The Markward After School program is now utilizing the building and they hope to get more programs up and running in there soon.

  • 16 Feb 2022 2:16 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    From: Richard Gross <>
    Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2022 10:23 PM
    To: Kathleen Grady <>; Lauren Hoffarth <>
    Cc: Eva Gladstein <>; Jane Green <>; Dennis Boylan <>
    Subject: Portland Loos Follow-up

    I want to follow up on the session on the Portland Loos you conducted last Thursday.  While I appreciate the time you have devoted to this project, I did not get the feeling that anyone from the City was really open to hearing the concerns expressed by some of us who have reservations.  Those concerns may be summarized as a criticism of the due diligence you have conducted before deciding to launch this program.

    As I mentioned, the experience with a strikingly similar program concerning Big Belly trash cans in center city has been abysmal.  Despite specific assurances as to regular maintenance from the responsible department, the trash cans overflow regularly and result in worse trash accumulation than if they were never installed.  Years of complaints from CCRA about the failed maintenance problem have gone unresolved.  In light of this history, you can surely understand our reluctance to have the City embark on another street

    “amenity” program without understanding the past failures.  Overflowing garbage cans are unsightly; overflowing and unmaintained bathrooms are a problem of a different magnitude altogether.

    The next topic of inadequate due diligence has to do with your survey of other cities’ experience with the Portland Loos.  Ms. Gladstein reported that you had thoroughly surveyed this and concluded that they are uniformly well received.  Of course, that is not the case as a cursory internet search produced the report of an entirely unsatisfactory experience in San Diego, where the cost ballooned 300% over estimate, the facilities attracted crime and were so unsatisfactory in general that they were removed.  A reasonable observer would have to conclude that you did not look for, or perhaps report on, the decidedly mixed history of these facilities elsewhere in your desire to proceed with the project here.  I hope you would agree that the public is entitled to a fair summary of the nationwide experience with Portland Loos.

    In the same vein,  you admittedly did not conduct outreach to large segments of the community likely to be affected by the installation.  Talking with hotel operators and office building owners in the vicinity of the proposed center city locations would be a minimum condition for a fair survey of the affected community.  Advocates for the homeless are not the only people with relevant opinions on this topic, but you seemed to have overlooked anyone else completely.

    Dennis Boylan has shared with me his email to you on this topic and I endorse his concerns as well.  So far, the communities most likely to be affected by this proposal have been ill-served by the failures in the process he and I and Jane Green have identified to you.  CCRA would be willing to engage in a fair process to consider this proposal if you would adopt one.  To date, we have not seen evidence that this has been the case.  I trust it is not too late for all of you to take a step back, recalibrate your thinking, and embark on a thorough and fair assessment of whether Portland Loos are appropriate for Philadelphia.


    Rick Gross

  • 16 Feb 2022 10:36 AM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Philadelphia has recently seen a marked decline in cases after a massive spike driven by the more transmissible omicron variant of COVID-19

    Philadelphia Restaurants No Longer Required to Check Customers’ Vaccine Status – NBC10 Philadelphia (

  • 15 Feb 2022 1:50 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Philadelphia officials will announce changes to COVID-19 mitigation during their weekly coronavirus response briefing on Wednesday, according to Mayor Jim Kenney.

  • 14 Feb 2022 2:07 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Stateside Vodka will take your jersey in exchange for a gift card.

    That's right: you can get a $25 gift card for Stateside just by giving them your now useless Simmons jersey.

    Philly Vodka Maker Offering Gift Cards For Ben Simmons Jerseys (

  • 10 Feb 2022 2:53 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    How can citizens nurture constructive dialogue that respects everyone and helps make our society more equitable and inclusive? How can we live more meaningful, engaged, and responsible lives? Join Hugh Taft-Morales, Leader of the Philadelphia Ethical Society, for a series of guided conversations about community, difference and justice. Let’s brainstorm about the following challenges to our democracy: How should we think of the public school system? Are flourishing schools for all fundamental for the future of democracy? How should we approach equity in funding, given that schools in wealthy areas often are better funded and have additional support through extra fundraising programs? What is a fair funding formula? What role do charter schools play in our public dialogue about education? How should schools be structured so that they prepare young people to be engaged citizens? Hosted by Maggie Mund

    View presentation here

  • 10 Feb 2022 10:59 AM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    CCRA held its monthly board meeting on Tuesday, February 8. The Logan Square Neighborhood Association joined CCRA to hear Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and the new 9th District Police Captain Colleen Billups give an update on our neighborhoods and the city. Presented by Rick Gross, CCRA President and Dennis Boylan, LSNA President.

    View presentation

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