THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA RELEASES FOOD RESOURCE GUIDE FOR OLDER ADULTS

Philadelphia, October 25, 2012–   The City of Philadelphia, in partnership with the Mayor’s Commission on Aging and the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, has released a resource guide for older Philadelphians to reduce senior hunger across the Greater Philadelphia area.  The resource guide was created with support from the Mayor’s Commission on Aging Senior Hunger Task Force, which formed in January 2012.

The guide features details about SNAP benefits (formerly known as Food Stamps), home-delivered meals, congregate meals served in community and senior centers, free food boxes, grocery deliveries and discounts on fresh foods.  The guide will be available online atwww.pcacares.org/foodresources and in hard copy at senior centers, community organizations, career development centers, neighborhood energy centers and other City sites.  It is available in English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Korean.

“The creation of this guide is a reflection of our partners’ commitment to ensure that seniors, caregivers and service providers have access to critical information about available resources,” said Lydia Hernández Vélez, Deputy Managing Director, Mayor’s Commission on Aging.  “Our shared goal of keeping seniors safe and engaged is well served by this effort.  I would like to thank the Task Force members for their hard work and dedication to the senior community.”

Holly Lange, Senior Vice President, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging added, “Every day, we work to improve the lives of older adults.  Part of this challenge is to connect older Philadelphians with the information they need about available services, resources and contacts.  My hope is that this food guide will bridge availability and knowledge for seniors in our community.  We will continue to work with the City, the Commission and serve on the Senior Hunger Task Force to create sustainable solutions to challenges of the senior community.”

Download Food Resource Guide

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Philadelphia City Planning Commission Establishes Civic Design Review Committee

Philadelphia, October 24, 2012 – The City of Philadelphia announced the establishment of the City’s first Civic Design Review Committee.  The seven-member  committee, mandated as part of the city’s new zoning code,  will advise the City Planning Commission as it reviews development projects that have a significant impact on public streets, sidewalks, trails, parks, and open spaces. The committee will consist of six standing members and one rotating member depending on the project’s location.

 

“Establishing the Civic Design Review Committee demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that development projects make the most positive impact possible on Philadelphia’s treasured public spaces, both downtown and in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.

 

The committee intends to meet monthly, two weeks prior to scheduled City Planning Commission meetings, but only if projects are submitted for review that month and have been identified by the Department of Licenses and Inspections during the permitting process.  The meetings will be open to the public and advertized on the City Planning Commission’s website:  www.phila.gov/cityplanning.

 

According to the zoning code, projects to be reviewed by the committee are determined by such factors as use, size, height, location, and zoning.  For instance, any large nonindustrial project with more than 100,000 square feet of floor space or 100 dwelling units will qualify. Smaller projects also may require review, particularly if they are very different in proposed size from nearby properties.

 

Six members of the committee have been appointed by Mayor Nutter; under the zoning code, each of the six must have a specific set of professional credentials. Committee members include:

  • Nancy Rogo Trainer, principal at VSBA, LLC, architect, and member of the City Planning Commission since 2008;
  • Michael Johns, acting deputy executive director for operations at the Philadelphia Housing Authority and architect;
  • Anita Toby Lager, managing principal at LRSLAstudio and landscape architect;
  • Dan Garofalo, environmental sustainability coordinator and senior facilities planner at the University of Pennsylvania;
  • Anne Fadullon, director of real estate development and investment at the Dale Corporation; and
  • Cecil Baker, architect and long-standing Washington Square West Civic Association zoning committee member.

 

The seventh seat on the committee is rotating for each project, to be filled by a representative of a local registered community organization in the project’s area.  The new zoning code also established a formal registry of community organizations to help ensure involvement by communities in the development process.

 

Nancy Rogo Trainer, the committee’s City Planning Commission representative, will serve as chairman as stipulated in the code.  Gary J. Jastrzab, the City Planning Commission’s executive director, will advise the Civic Design Review Committee but is not a voting member.

Mayor Nutter Announces Recreation Programs In Schools Agreement

 

Philadelphia, October 23, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced an agreement with the Philadelphia School District to preserve winter season recreational programming and activities for more than 16,000 children in the City of Philadelphia.The Philadelphia School District will continue to pay for indoor facilities at some schools to remain open on week nights.  The City of Philadelphia will pay for indoor facilities at other schools to remain open for an additional hour on week nights beginning November 5thand all day on Saturdays beginning on December 5th for the 2012-2013 winter activities season at a cost of $338,000 for the 5 month season.Working together, the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia School District were able to lower the cost to the City by about half with strategic changes in staff schedules to reduce overtime costs and changes to practice/rehearsal times and game/performance schedules for organizations using the facilities.“This is a smart, collaborative approach to provide high-quality services to young Philadelphians using limited public resources,” said Mayor Nutter.  “In addition to strong academic programs, extra-curricular activities are vital to the health and development of well-rounded students.  I am mindful of the serious fiscal issues facing the School District and the City of Philadelphia, and I am very grateful that we were able to come together to find a solution in the best interest of our youth.”

In light of the serious financial issues facing the School District, the City will change its Recreation Department programming in 105 schools, 80 of which will be open from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on weekday evenings, the cost of which will be covered by the School District.  The remaining 25 larger schools with multiple facilities will be open longer to accommodate more programs – from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on weekday evenings and from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays.  Those additional hours will be covered by the City (for a list of those facilities, please see below).

“We appreciate this partnership with the City of Philadelphia to expand access for youths involved in athletic and cultural programs,” said Dr. William R. Hite Jr., Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia.  “After-school programs add immense value to the lives of our students and the community. I would like to thank the Mayor and our city leaders for supporting our students, families and community organizations.”

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation administers recreational programming that serves more than 42,000 children and youth every winter season.  About 16,000 of those slots operate in Philadelphia School District facilities in areas of the city that don’t have enough City-owned facilities.

The City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia School District announced a similar agreement in February 2012 to complete the 2011-2012 winter activities season, which ends in March.  The cost to the City for February and March 2012 was $189,000.

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List of larger school facilities which will accommodate consolidated recreational programming:

School Council District
Taggert 1
South Philadelphia 1
Carroll 1
Greenfield 2
Sayre 3
Lincoln 3
West Philadelphia 3
Turner 3
Lamberton 4
Overbrook 4
Roxborough 4
Saul 4
Shawmont 4
Kelley 5
Strawberry Mansion 5
Frankford 6
Fels 7
Edison 7
Wagner 8
Leeds 9
Wilson, Woodrow 9
Baldi 10
Rush 10
Washington 10
Fox Chase 10
Northeast 10

TREEPHILLY FALL CAMPAIGN ENDS IN 10 DAYS

Philadelphia, October 10, 2012 – The deadline for requests for the second TreePhilly free yard tree giveaway program is Friday, October 19.  Philadelphia residents can request up to two free yard trees by calling 215-683-0217 or visiting www.TreePhilly.org.

“Thanks to the efforts of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Wells Fargo and the Fairmount Park Conservancy, more than 2,200 Philadelphia residents were able to request free trees to plant on their property and enhance their neighborhoods this past spring,” said Mayor Nutter. “The fall TreePhilly campaign is on track to be just as successful.  With only ten days left, I encourage all Philadelphia homeowners to call or visit the website to request their own free tree.”

TreePhilly, a campaign led by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PP&R) in partnership with the Fairmount Park Conservancy and with support fromWells Fargo, directly engages Philadelphia property owners, businesses and neighbors to plant and maintain trees. This initiative includes a citywide yard tree giveaway, through which residents can request a free yard tree to plant on their private property. Wells Fargo is sponsoring the yard tree giveaway; both Wells Fargo and the Fairmount Park Conservancy provide marketing and promotional support for the campaign.

This fall, property-owning residents in Philadelphia are eligible to receive up to twofree trees per address. Property-owning residents who apply for  free trees through TreePhilly’s fall program can select from a new list of tree species, including Sweetbay  Magnolia, Serviceberry, River Birch, Sugar Maple, White Oak,  Carolina Silverbell, Eastern Redbud, Black Gum, White Fringetree, American Smoketree, American Yellowwood and Sour Cherry.

Citizens can get involved with TreePhilly by planting and caring for trees on their property, volunteering for a tree planting event in their local park, or sponsoring community service days to plant and maintain trees. For more information and to request a tree, citizens can visitwww.TreePhilly.Org  or call 215-683-0217.

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About Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation promotes the wellbeing of the City, its citizens and visitors, by offering beautiful natural landscapes and parks, historically significant resources, high quality recreation centers and athletic programs, along with enriching cultural and environmental programs.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets.

Fairmount Park Conservancy

The Fairmount Park Conservancy exists to champion the Fairmount Park system. Its mission is to work as a collaborative partner to lead and support efforts which preserve and improve Fairmount Park to enhance the quality of life and stimulate the economic development of the Greater Philadelphia Region. The Fairmount Park Conservancy fulfills its mission by leading signature capital projects and innovative programs throughout Fairmount Park; by developing and leveraging resources for the park; and by promoting the parks’ unique assets and contributions.

For more information, please visit www.myphillypark.org. “Like” the Fairmount Park Conservancy on Facebook atfacebook.com/FairmountParkConservancy and “Follow” via Twitter @myphillypark.

Mayor Nutter Signs Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

MAYOR NUTTER SIGNS TWO CITY COUNCIL ORDINANCES

 

Philadelphia, October 9, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed two City Council Bills, one that will improve energy efficiency and sustainability in the City of Philadelphia, and the other will increase residential fire safety.

 

Mayor Nutter first signed Bill No. 120428 and talked about the importance of the City being as energy-efficient as possible.  “In order to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America, everyone needs to do their part. Energy benchmarking and disclosure will encourage people and organizations to think how to be more energy efficient and present opportunities for improvement in energy management,” said Mayor Nutter.

 

Bill No. 120428 amends the ‘Energy Conservation’ portion of The Philadelphia Code to require large commercial buildings to benchmark and report energy and water usage data. The bill’s purpose is not only to make organizations aware of their energy use, but also identify opportunities for improvement and assist in establishing energy consumption baselines that will help set future goals. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability will issue regulations this fall and begin doing outreach and education in the winter and spring.  Building owners will need to benchmark their buildings using Energy Start Portfolio Manager and report the results to the City beginning in 2013. The following year, the City will make this information available to the public.

 

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown echoed the Mayor’s remarks saying, “Energy benchmarking will provide the critical information and data necessary to make Philadelphia a more energy efficient city. Inevitably, we will hand over the keys to this planet to our children and grandchildren.  I join the Mayor in making sure that to the best of our ability, we hand them a more sustainable and healthier planet to grow and prosper.”

 

Mayor Nutter also signed Bill No. 120278, amending the Philadelphia Fire Code to require smoke alarms in one- and two-family dwellings to have 10-year, non-removable batteries, effective January 9, 2013.  Once installed, the smoke alarms will not need the battery replaced for the life of the alarm.  One- and two-family dwellings built on or after January 1, 1988, and apartment dwelling units, are not affected as those dwellings are required to have hard-wired smoke alarms.  Smoke alarms are required on each level of a dwelling, including the basement.  On the floors with one or more bedrooms, the smoke alarm for that floor is required to be installed in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.  Installation should be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instruction booklet.

“This measure will make the job of the Philadelphia Fire Department – ensuring the safety of our homes and businesses – that much easier.  Tragedies can be prevented when working smoke alarms are present.”  Fire Commissioner Ayers added, “Ten-year, lithium battery-powered smoke alarms provide our citizens with a longer period of Optimum Fire Protection and Community Risk Reduction.”

Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., the primary sponsor of the bill, said, “With this bill fire safety is no longer obsolete.  No longer is the reminder change the clock; change the battery relevant. I would like to thank Commissioner Ayers; the Fire Department, and it’s volunteer fire safety representatives; local 22; and the cooperation of residents, commercial owners and support systems who have helped reduce fire fatalities and injuries throughout our great City.”