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Schools get grant money

State Rep. Ed Neilson announced that Robert B. Pollock School and Anne Frank School each received a grant of $2,908 to purchase needed equipment for their cafeterias, including a milk cooler.

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Neilson said the grant is part of more than $925,000 in competitive grants awarded to 72 elementary, middle and high schools across the state to buy new food service equipment for their cafeterias.

Neilson noted that other two area schools also received funding. Stephen Decatur Elementary School received $8,314 for a walk-in freezer. Abraham Lincoln High School received $3,193 for a reach-in refrigerator. ••

Material reuse center relocates

Philadelphia Community Corps’ building material reuse center, Philly Reclaim, has moved into a bigger facility at 5200 Unruh Ave.

The new facility will give Philly Reclaim the ability to expand its program offerings to include things like a tool library, paint recycling, furniture making and a sawmill. The overarching theme of the center is that it’s creating jobs through reuse industries.

Drivers must go to the end of Unruh Avenue where it meets the Delaware River, and then follow the gravel road to the right all the way back to Philly Reclaim.

“We’re behind Daydreams,” said founder and executive director Greg Trainor. ••

Henon outlines worker legislation

City Councilman Bobby Henon (D-6th dist.) has introduced legislation to strengthen the protections and rights of Philadelphia workers.

Councilman Bobby Henon

“This legislation defines what modern workplaces should be. My priority has and will always be prioritizing the needs and rights of working people. These legislative efforts will ensure workers have a safe, secure and inclusive place of work and that their needs as individuals are met,” he said.

The legislation introduced by Henon includes paid family and medical leave, provided by certain employers for 12 weeks for a major life event; a resolution to authorize the Committee of Licenses and Inspections to conduct hearings to investigate the effects that developers and contractors of the “underground economy” have on the city and construction industry workers, as it relates to paying taxes and living wages; and, in partnership with Councilwoman Helen Gym, a Home Rule Charter change to permanentize the Department of Labor. ••

Walnut Street Theatre season continues

The 211th season of live entertainment continues at the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.

The remaining lineup consists of a musical, a comedy and a political melodrama.
Up next, audiences will embark to Victorian England for Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance, through March 1.

The season will continue with the Tony Award-winning play The Best Man, from March 10 to April 26.

The season will conclude with the international hit musical The Bodyguard, from May 12 to July 12. The show is based on the blockbuster film and features the songs of Whitney Houston.
Call 215-574-3550, Ext. 6, or visit WalnutStreetTheatre.org. ••

Comcast increasing online capacity

Comcast announced that its next-generation xFi Advanced Gateway will begin rolling out to customers in the coming months.

The WiFi 6 Certified gateway will deliver faster speeds, ultimate capacity, lower latency and best-in-class WiFi coverage throughout the home.

Xfinity Internet power users are connecting on average 50 devices in the home per month. The xFi Advanced Gateway is designed for high-performance users to handle more capacity for even more smart home devices coming online in the future.

“We designed the next-generation Advanced Gateway to be the fastest, smartest and most powerful WiFi device on the planet to continue to deliver on our promise of bringing our customers a great broadband experience,” said Kunle Ekundare, director of product and hardware management, Comcast. “The xFi Advanced Gateway is truly the best Internet product we’ve ever built, and we’re thrilled to be bringing our customers into the future with Wi-Fi 6.” ••

Remembering the Holocaust

The state House of Representatives adopted a resolution introduced by Rep. Ed Neilson to recognize Jan. 27, 2020 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Pennsylvania.

“This is a day to remember and mourn, and a day to stand up against hate and violence,” Neilson said. “We have seen recent violent acts inspired by hate perpetrated against people throughout our country, including the horrific attack at the Tree of Life Building in Pittsburgh in October 2018. It’s so incredibly important that when we look back at history and remember what has happened, that we also look at the things happening around us right now and find a way to bring tolerance, love and acceptance into the conversation.”

House Resolution 658 was adopted unanimously. ••

Walnut Street Theatre announces 2020-21 season

Walnut Street Theatre announced its 2020-21 season, which consists of three musicals, a supernatural comedy by Noël Coward and a Pulitzer Prize-winning American classic.

The Walnut will open its 212th season with the premiere of a revised version of Rocky, the Musical. The show, which runs from Sept. 8 to Oct. 25, is based on the Academy Award-winning film, Rocky.

Next, Disney’s The Little Mermaid will be in town from Nov. 17 to Jan. 17, 2021. Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, challenges her father’s authority as she dreams of finding her own way in the world above the sea.

Then, Coward’s Blithe Spirit will play from Jan. 26 to March 14, 2021. The show centers on a novelist, his second wife and his deceased first wife.

The season will continue with the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, from March 23 to May 9, 2021. Willy Loman, a salesman whose best days have passed, cannot understand how he failed to win success and happiness, though he eventually realizes he is truly loved.

Finally, On Your Feet is the true story of musicians Gloria and Emilio Estefan. It runs from May 25 to July 11, 2021.

Subscriptions are available for as little as $125 a season. Individual show tickets go on sale in early August.

Call the Walnut at 215-574-3550, Ext. 6 or visit www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org. ••

Boulevard Dermatology joins PDP

Pennsylvania Dermatology Partners announced that Boulevard Dermatology has joined its network, expanding its presence to 14 offices in the Philadelphia region and Lehigh Valley.

Boulevard Dermatology is located at 8001 Roosevelt Blvd., in the Smylie Times Building.

Led by Dr. Deirdre Wood, Boulevard Dermatology has been serving patients’ medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology needs since 2003.

“Our partnership with Boulevard Dermatology underscores our commitment to significantly expand our presence in the region,” said Andrew Frankel, PDP’s chief operation officer. “This is yet another important step as we look to provide convenient access to dermatologic care in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.”

Pennsylvania Dermatology Partners also has a location at 9501 Roosevelt Blvd. ••

Hohenstein wants hospital closure notification

Citing September’s closure of Hahnemann University Hospital, state Reps. Joe Hohenstein and Morgan Cephas have introduced legislation that would help support the communities and staff impacted by sudden closures.

The representatives said their bill (H.B. 2242) would require hospitals to provide written notice of intent to close within 180 days. Current law requires only 90 days.

“I stood on the front lines in solidarity with labor unions representing the many hospital staffers who were left unemployed. I heard their grievances and I saw surrounding economically disadvantaged communities being deprived quality health care,” Hohenstein said. “Very few at the top benefit while countless people and families are left to suffer. We can no longer allow these closures to be carried out similarly to regular business dealings because there’s too much at stake.” ••

Nazareth treats lymphedema

The Center for Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation and Balance at Nazareth Hospital recently launched a lymphedema treatment program to support the health and healing of patients.

Common causes of lymphedema include surgery/radiation, malignant tumors, immobility as well as chronic venous insufficiency. Symptoms can include swelling, reduced limb mobility and pain. Certified lymphedema therapists at Nazareth can evaluate a patient’s needs and provide necessary treatments close to home.

For more information about the lymphedema treatment program, call the Nazareth Center for Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation and Balance at 215-335-3954. ••

Murt rallies for redistricting reform

State Rep. Thomas Murt (R-152nd dist.) joined colleagues for a rally to urge the legislature to change the way it redistricts every 10 years.


“It’s time to remove politics from the system,” Murt said.

Murt’s legislation — House Bill 22 — would create an 11-member Independent Redistricting Commission to replace the existing Legislative Reapportionment Commission, which consists of four legislative leaders plus a chairman appointed by the state Supreme Court.

Instead, this legislation would have House and Senate district lines drawn by a randomly selected group of voters from both major political parties, plus independents and third-party members.

Commission members and their spouses could not have been lobbyists, political operatives or federal or state employees within five years prior to their appointment to the commission.

“I want to thank everyone who came out to our rally in support of reforming our system,” Murt said. “It’s the first step in bringing meaningful reform to Harrisburg.” ••

Hohenstein holds events on disabilities

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, state Rep. Joe Hohenstein spearheaded a series of events at Community Behavioral Health geared toward improving disability rights and services across Pennsylvania.

The freshman legislator kicked off the series with his first Disabilities Summit, which focused on the successes of disability rights in the three decades since the enactment of the ADA and explored other progressive measures through discussions among community and business stakeholders, and federal and state elected officials.

“I am excited to have this summit to initiate conversations reflecting on the progress the ADA has made for disability rights and how we as advocates from the government, the business community and local advocacy groups can work together to build upon that progress,” Hohenstein said. “Demanding and ensuring rights for citizens living with disabilities takes a concerted effort from all advocacy factions. I am especially grateful for our partners at SpARC and Philadelphia Autism Project who have worked tirelessly to put together the program.”

Hohenstein also hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing to discuss more comprehensive approaches to strengthen the ADA and ensure accessibility to services, equal rights and equal opportunities for all Pennsylvanians living with disabilities.

Testifiers during the hearing included state Sen. Christine Tartaglione. ••

Local funeral home director earns recertification

Francis R. Galante, a funeral home director with a location at 8060 Verree Road in Fox Chase, recently qualified for recertification of the designation of Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP).

The designation comes from the Georgia-based Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice.

Galante volunteered to participate in educational and service opportunities that surpass what the state licensing board requires. ••

Murt bill becomes law

Gov. Tom Wolf has signed legislation sponsored by state Rep. Tom Murt (R-152nd dist.) to criminalize the act of female genital mutilation.

“This is a major victory for the women of Pennsylvania,” Murt said. “I want to thank my colleagues in both the House and Senate for taking this strong and unified stand for the right to be safe from this kind of abuse. FGM is a crime of violence against women. With Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature, the law will explicitly state that.”

Act 21 makes it a crime to cut or allow someone to circumcise or excise the genitals of a female minor. Under the law, FGM is a felony of the first degree.

FGM involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. ••

Boyle wants special election changes

State Rep. Kevin Boyle announced he will be introducing legislation to regulate when special elections could be held in the future to save Pennsylvania taxpayers money.


“Special elections have been scheduled for March 17 when the April 28 primary is only a little more than a month away. These special elections will cost Pennsylvania taxpayers more than $1 million in added elections costs,” Boyle said.

Speaker Mike Turzai announced the March date for the special elections to fill vacancies in the 8th, 18th and 58th legislative districts.

“As the Democratic chair of the State Government Committee, it is my responsibility to put the best interests of the people of Pennsylvania first. Special elections are fiscally irresponsible for the state. While I understand Speaker Turzai’s desire to provide representation as soon as possible for these districts with vacancies, we need to recognize that the repercussions of these actions will impact every taxpayer in the commonwealth,” Boyle said. ••

Murt new chairman of Human Services Committee

State House Speaker Mike Turzai has appointed Rep. Tom Murt to serve as chairman of the Human Services Committee.

Murt previously served as chairman of the Aging and Older Adult Services. The Human Services Committee is responsible for legislative oversight of matters pertaining to the Department of Human Services and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, former chairman of the Human Services Committee, resigned to become a Bucks County commissioner. ••

Mannal’s Peake new prez of state funeral directors association

David V. Peake Jr., of Robert L. Mannal Funeral Home, 6925 Frankford Ave., was installed as the 138th president of the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association.

Peake is a 1998 graduate of Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. He also attended Springfield Township High School and Kutztown University prior to going to PIMS.

After mortuary school, he served his apprenticeship with the Givnish Family Funeral Homes, after which he went to work at Mannal.

In 2012, Mannal acquired Craft Funeral Home of Erdenheim, and Peake is the supervisor for that funeral home. He has served the Philadelphia Local Funeral Directors Association as a board member (2010-2013), vice president (2013-2015) and president (2015-2017). Over the last three years, he has represented the Philadelphia Funeral Directors Association as its district governor for District 8.

Peake lives with his wife, Abbey, and their three children, Greyson, Olivia and Sawyer, in Flourtown. ••

Murt addressing eating disorders

State Rep. Tom Murt (R-152nd dist.), Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine and former Penn State kicker Joey Julius recently came together to discuss legislation addressing eating disorder parental education.

The legislation would require schools to annually supply educational information to parents with children in fifth to 12th grades on the harmful and potentially fatal effects of eating disorders. Additionally, local school boards would participate in creating guidelines for an optional eating disorder screening program and appropriate opt-out and exemption procedures.

“Let me state categorically,” Murt said. “Eating disorders are real, complex and devastating conditions that can have serious consequences for health, productivity and relationships.” ••

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