Public invited to paint new mural
In response to the desecration of Mt. Carmel Cemetery earlier this spring, Philadelphia Mural Arts has partnered with the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia and Friends of Wissinoming Park to create a mural about respect, reflecting the history and glorious natural surroundings of the park. Community members are invited to join a paint day at the new mural site.
Volunteers will help paint the mural, which was designed by artist Barbara Smolen. Painters must be age 10 or older. Other art activities will be available for children under 10. Light refreshments will be served.
The event will be on June 28 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 4000 E. Cheltenham Ave., directly behind Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Wissinoming Park. Contact Gabriela Raczka at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215–620–2176 for information. RSVP via Facebook at “Paint Day: Cultivate Respect Mural.” ••
8th PDAC to host open house next week
The 8th Police District Advisory Council will host an open house as part of its monthly membership meeting on Wednesday, July 5, at 7 p.m. at the 8th district police station, 3100 Red Lion Road (at Academy Road).
The 8th PDAC partners community members with local police to foster community engagement and public safety.
Members also have a lot of fun in planning and holding several community events throughout the year such as National Night Out, an Easter egg hunt and a fall festival.
The organization seeks new members and invites residents of the 8th district to participate in a meeting, learn about what the committee does and talk to current members. Refreshments will be served. ••
Philly Orchestra at Northeast High School
The William Penn Foundation will present a free concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra on Thursday, June 29, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Northeast High School’s Charles Martin Memorial Stadium, 1601 Cottman Ave.
Food trucks will be on site. ••
Journey/Mellencamp tribute band to perform
The Pennypack Park Concert Series will continue on Wednesday, June 28, with a concert by the Idol Kings, a Journey and John Mellencamp tribute band.
Here is the rest of the lineup: July 12, Irish Night, featuring Jamison and the Bogside Rogues; July 19, Black Dog (Led Zeppelin tribute); July 26, Romeo Delight (Van Halen tribute); Aug. 9, High Noon (Southern rock); Aug. 16, LeCompt; Aug. 23, The Launch (Boston and Styx tribute); and Sept. 6, Think Pink Floyd (Pink Floyd tribute).
Concerts are held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Ed Kelly Amphitheater, near the park entrance at Welsh Road and Cresco Avenue. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. For information, call 215–475–2100, visit pennypack.org or check out the concert series page on Facebook. ••
Local church offering Bible school
Lehigh Baptist Church, 934 Alburger Ave., will host a Vacation Bible School through Friday, June 30.
The school will be open from 9 a.m. to noon.
Classes are for kids age 5 to those completing sixth grade. Registration is free, though daily offerings will be accepted for a missionary project.
Call 215–673–9552. ••
Friday concert announced in Somerton
The Danube Swabian Association, 1277 Southampton Road in Somerton, will host a free outdoor concert on Friday, June 30, at 7 p.m.
Entertainment will be provided by Soundwave, a big band. Doors open at 6 p.m., with food and drinks for sale. Call 215–722–4253. ••
Free produce for residents 60 or older
St. Anne’s Senior Community Center, 2607 E. Cumberland St., will be distributing produce vouchers through the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
Philadelphia residents 60 or older who qualify will receive four $5 vouchers that will be valid until Nov. 30.
Produce vouchers will be distributed from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on July 10, 13, 17 and 20. There is a limit of four vouchers per year.
To qualify, an individual must have a total 2017 household income not more than $22,311 (one person), $30,044 (two people), $37,777 (three people) or $45,510 (four people).
Call 215–426–9799. ••
St. Jerome seniors taking a trip
The St. Jerome senior citizens club will be taking a trip to Pine Creek Gorge, sometimes referred to as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.
The trip is scheduled for Oct. 9–11.
The cost is $478 per person, double occupancy, and includes lodging, bus transportation, two breakfasts, two dinners, meal gratuities, a Susquehanna River cruise, covered wagon tour, Canyon overlook, a tour of historic Lewisburg and stops at Millionaires Row, Buggy Museum and Annunciation Church.
Call Ray at 215–332–0866. ••
Driscoll pushes for retirement security
Democratic state Reps. Mike Driscoll and Mike Hanna are proposing legislation that would establish the Keystone Retirement Security Program.
The legislation would provide private sector employees without access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan the opportunity to save for retirement through automatic payroll deduction. Each participant in the program would have the opportunity to set the amount deducted from each paycheck, up until a certain percentage.
“Retirement security is a serious issue for the state, especially as a large number of residents begin to retire without the savings needed to meet their expenses,” Driscoll said. “Ignoring this ‘Silver Tsunami’ would have devastating effects on both future retirees and the financial well-being of the state as a whole. Currently, there are over 2 million workers in the state without access to this type of retirement savings account, which is simply unacceptable.”
Under the Hanna-Driscoll plan, employers with five or more employees that don’t already offer a retirement plan would be required to enroll their employees in the Keystone Retirement Security Program. Workers could decline if they choose; otherwise, a small portion of their pay would be automatically deducted and deposited into an account with the state Treasurer’s Office. Treasury would manage the accounts similar to the way it manages the TAP 529 college savings accounts.
“As a new session gets underway, Rep. Hanna and I remain focused on making sure that every Pennsylvanian has the opportunity to save for a secure retirement,” Driscoll said. “This legislation would offer portable retirement savings accounts to nearly every employee in Pennsylvania with no cost to taxpayers.”
Driscoll added that the plans would also not place any additional administrative or financial burden on private employers in Pennsylvania. No employer contributions would be required or permitted to an employee’s account.
Driscoll has sought a legislative study on the concept since early 2015. ••
City eyeing retirement security
City Councilwoman Cherelle L. Parker (D-9th dist.) chairs the 16-person Task Force on Retirement Security for Private Sector Employees in Philadelphia, which will be responsible for drafting and issuing a report to Council recommending potential policy and legislative solutions. The task force was unanimously approved by Council last June. Councilman Al Taubenberger serves as vice chairman.
“After our hearing in June, my team and I traveled to other jurisdictions that are currently further ahead on addressing this issue to review their data and potential policy and legislative proposals,” Parker said. “We have structured the task force in such a way to ensure that there is appropriate representation from all industries that can add value to our process.”
In Philadelphia, 20 percent of retirees are poor, compared with 9 percent nationwide, and 30 percent have incomes between 100 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level, compared with 23 percent nationwide. Additionally, in Philadelphia, only 48 percent of workers ages 25–64 work for an employer that sponsors a plan, compared with 53 percent nationwide, and 37 percent of workers actually participate in a plan, compared with 45 percent nationwide.
“As I’ve said before, while we would love for federal officials to craft a solution, it’s clear that big cities like New York and Philadelphia must take steps to address this crisis now because it has significant ramifications on our budgets and the stability of our neighborhoods,” Parker said.
A final report will be issued by Dec. 31. ••
Norcom Community Center changes name
Special People In Northeast Inc. has changed the name of its Norcom Community Center to SPIN Community & Fitness.
The community center, at 10980 Norcom Road, has also unveiled a newly renovated, fully equipped fitness center.
“We’re thrilled to share the excitement of our newly revamped community center,” said Kathy Brown-McHale, president and CEO of SPIN. “This has always been a welcoming place where people make friends and break barriers on the road to healthy lives. Our new name unites SPIN’s vision of a world that values and includes everyone with the center’s innovative fitness and recreational programs.”
SPIN Community & Fitness offers a team of fitness professionals. There are fitness classes, personal training and gyms for cardio, functional fitness and weight-training. The center is also home to a spinning studio and is opening a fitness garage for group training later this year. A mobile app, SPINComFit, allows people to sign up for classes and learn about upcoming events.
For more information, call 215–613–1070 or email email@example.com ••
SEPTA approves new direct bus service
SEPTA’s board has approved a new Roosevelt Boulevard direct bus service as part of its fiscal year 2018 annual service plan adopted on June 22.
The new express bus service will begin this fall and be implemented in coordination with the City of Philadelphia. The limited-stop service will include some elements of bus rapid transit with the goal of providing a more efficient transit option along the heavily traveled corridor.
Buses will operate from Frankford Transportation Center to Neshaminy Mall, making only eight stops in each direction. Trips would run every 10 minutes during morning and evening rush hours, as well as every 15 minutes for most of the rest of the service day. Compared to existing bus service, riders could see travel-time reductions of about 30 percent. Schedules and other details will be released in the coming months. Visit septa.org. ••