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Blood drive in Somerton

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Fellowship Bible Church and Somerton Civic Association in partnership with the Red Cross are holding a blood drive on Thursday, Jan. 26, from 2-7 p.m. at Fellowship Bible Church, 13021 Worthington Road. Visit the link at https://tinyurl.com/2n286ez5 to sign up. ••

Join teen art class

Tarken Recreation Center, 6250 Frontenac St., will hold an art class for ages 13-17. The class will meet Thursdays from 6-8 p.m., from Feb. 2 to March 30. All artistic abilities are welcome. Classes will be taught by a lifelong teaching artist with a colorful background in drawing, painting and sculpting. The registration fee is $40. To register, stop by the office weekdays from 4-8 p.m. ••

History meeting Feb. 1

Northeast Philadelphia History Network will meet on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. at Pennepack Baptist Meetinghouse, 8732 Krewstown Road. The topic will be Byberry African American Burial Ground. The speaker will be Hannah Wallace, Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. The ⅛-acre Byberry African American Burial Ground is located adjacent to Benjamin Rush State Park and is completely overgrown. ••

Open house at Maternity BVM

Maternity BVM School, 9322 Old Bustleton Ave., will host an open house on Sunday, Jan. 29, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The school invites families who are interested in having their children attend BVM for the 2023/24 school year. The open house will include tours, meet the teachers, registration and financial aid information. Go to www.maternitybvm.net or call 215-908-3329. ••

Help family displaced by fire

A GoFundMe page has been created to help a Holme Circle couple and their four children after a fire heavily damaged their house. To make a donation, go to GoFundMe.com and search for “Gambone family house fire.” ••

Report illegal vehicles

City Councilman Brian O’Neill has introduced legislation to increase the fines for illegally parked semi-trailers, truck tractors and other vehicles. The bill, co-sponsored by Councilmen Mike Driscoll and Anthony Phillips, will raise the fine from $300 to $500. The fine increase will also apply to the parking of a boat, motor home, truck camper or vending cart for more than 30 days.

“Maintaining the appearance of our Far Northeast neighborhoods has always been one of my top priorities. Hopefully, these fines will cut down on the number of these vehicles parking in our residential neighborhoods,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill’s office is working with local police districts and the Parking Authority to have the vehicles ticketed and towed. To report an illegally parked semi-trailer, truck tractor or other vehicle, or to testify in support of the legislation, call O’Neill’s office at 215-686-3422 or email Brian.Oneill@phila.gov. ••

Mayoral debate at Holy Family

The Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a mayoral debate on Tuesday, April 18, in the gym at Holy Family University, 9801 Frankford Ave. Doors open at 6 p.m. The debate begins at 7. The moderators will be Dan McElhatton, a lawyer, former city councilman and chair of the GNPCC’s government affairs committee; and Northeast Times editor Tom Waring. A Holy Family student will have the chance to ask a couple of questions. The public is invited. ••

Civic meeting on Thursday

The West Torresdale/Morrell Park Civic Association will meet on Thursday, Jan 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the community room at the 8th Police District, 3100 Red Lion Road. It will follow the captain’s meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. and is expected to be well attended. Email wtca19114@gmail.com.

View Boulevard improvement plans

PennDOT invites the public to attend an open house plans display on Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 6-8 p.m. at Pelbano Recreation Center, 8101 Bustleton Ave., for the proposed project to construct strategic crossover and intersection improvements along Roosevelt Boulevard in Rhawnhurst and Bustleton. The project consists of relocating and constructing new crossovers at five intersections; realigning crosswalks; reconstructing ADA ramps; improving pedestrian access to public transit; and upgrading traffic signals. Construction bids on the project are anticipated to open in summer 2024. The plans will remain at Pelbano through Feb. 15. Call 215-913-5998. ••

Thrift shop closed for a week

The Classroom Thrift Shop, 4301 Tyson Ave., sponsored by the women of Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai, will close Jan. 28 before reopening Feb. 4. Hours are weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The shop is closed Saturdays. Call 215-624-9130. ••

St. Jerome seniors to meet

The St. Jerome’s Senior Group will meet on Thursday, Jan. 26, in the school hall, 3031 Stamford St. Arrive by 10 a.m. Meeting begins promptly at 11. ••

Storytime at Ryerss

Ryerss Museum & Library, located at 7370 Central Ave. in Burholme Park, will host Storytime at Ryerss at 10:30 on four upcoming Saturdays. The schedule is Jan. 28 (Time for Snow Fun), Feb. 11 (Will You Be My Valentine?), Feb. 25 (Out of This World) and March 11 (Happy Birthday, Robert Ryerss). Call 215-685-0544. ••

North communion breakfast

The Northeast Catholic Alumni Communion Breakfast will take place on April 16 at Cannstatter’s, 9130 Academy Road. Register at www.northcatholicalumni.org. ••

Flea market at St. Hubert

St. Hubert, 7320 Torresdale Ave., will be hosting its annual indoor flea market on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Tables are $20 for vendors. Admission is free for shoppers. Email fleamarket@huberts.org. ••

Trip to the Tropicana

Holy Innocents is planning a trip to the Tropicana Casino on Tuesday, Feb. 21. A bus will depart L Street and Hunting Park Avenue at 9 a.m., and will leave the Tropicana at 4:30 p.m. The cost is $35, due by Feb. 13, and includes $20 in slot cash. To reserve a seat, call Cindy at 215-535-2740. ••

Wine tasting at St. Hubert

St. Hubert Alumnae Association is holding a wine tasting on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 6-8 p.m., in the school cafeteria. The cost is $35 per person and includes wine pairings with cheese and chocolate. The event is presented by Main Street Wine Cellar featuring wines from Crossing Vineyards and Winery. Must be 21 to attend. For tickets, email SHAAWineTasting@gmail.com. ••

Free tax help

People who need help with preparing their federal income tax return may take advantage of the free assistance program being offered by KleinLife, 10100 Jamison Ave. The program will run from Thursday, Feb. 2, to Tuesday, April 18, and will be available to everyone with incomes of up to $73,000 whether filing single or joint returns. People who need assistance may call 215-698-7300, Ext. 194 to make an appointment for tax preparation help. Prior to calling for an appointment, people should have all of their tax information in hand including last year’s federal tax return, W-2, 1099 and real estate tax bill. ••

Broadway memories

The Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, invites the community to Together off Broadway: Merman and Martin on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, at 2 p.m. Ethel Merman and Mary Martin were off-stage friends, theater royalty and iconic personalities. The show gives a peek at their personal lives while celebrating a song list including I’ve Got Rhythm, The Sound of Music and Hello, Dolly. The price of admission is $36 per person and includes a dessert reception. Mail your check to the synagogue. Call 215-677-1600. ••

Carpentry training for high schoolers

State Rep. Jared Solomon announced that a grant worth $237,740 was awarded to the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. The funding is part of the Schools-to-Work Program to develop and expand career opportunities for high school students and eliminate barriers to employment.

“Students need to know that the trades are a viable option for a successful and fruitful career,” Solomon said. “This funding will go a long way for providing career pathways and leave students with hands-on knowledge that they can use for the rest of their lives.”

The Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce will partner with Northeast High School and the Carpenters Joint Training Center of Philadelphia to administer the carpentry pre-apprenticeship program with a total of 60 students. ••

White chairing LNG task force

State Rep. Martina White has been selected to chair the Philadelphia LNG Export Task Force. The task force will be charged with creating a report and recommendations to be presented to the General Assembly and the administration including any actions that should be taken to facilitate the recommendations. The task force will be made up of members from the General Assembly, natural gas industry, Philadelphia building trades and the Port of Philadelphia. Natural gas is cheaper to produce than other forms of energy. The most efficient gas-fired plant has investment costs of $1,100 per kilowatt compared with $3,700 for the most efficient coal-fired plant.

White said the invasion of Ukraine only outlined the reasons the task force must work with urgency.

“Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine made it clear the world needs to become less reliant on Russia for its energy needs,” she said. “Pennsylvania has the resources to help rectify this situation, and that will improve our national security.” ••

Move up presidential primary

State Reps. Jared Solomon and Malcolm Kenyatta and Sen. Sharif Street will introduce legislation that would move the 2024 presidential primary election date in Pa. up one month. This would set the date for the 2024 presidential primary to be on March 19. Currently, Pennsylvania’s primary is scheduled to take place on the fourth Tuesday in April, long after many states have voted for a presidential nominee.

“Pennsylvania has proved time and time again to be a pivotal state when it comes to elections,” Solomon said. “This legislation will provide Pennsylvania the political weight it deserves by giving us a voice earlier in the process.” ••

Celebrating 100 years of SMT

St. Martin of Tours Parish invites all school alumni, current and past parishioners and friends to a 100th anniversary Mass in the upper church, 5450 Roosevelt Blvd., on Sunday, April 30, at noon. The Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Edward Adams. Afterward, there will be a “Past & Present — Building Our Future” celebration at Cannstatter’s, 9130 Academy Road, from 2-6 p.m. Tickets cost $35 and include food, soft drinks, music and door prizes. The event is for ages 21-plus. Tickets must be purchased in advance in the rectory, after all Masses, through Venmo (@smotphilly) or with check to St. Martin of Tours Church, 5450 Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19124, Attn: Centennial Celebration. Proceeds will benefit church improvements. ••

Free tax preparation

The nonprofit Campaign for Working Families provides free tax preparation, including identifying tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit. On Friday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m. at CWF’s Center City tax site, 1415 N. Broad St., CWF will celebrate National EITC Day. There are more than 50,000 eligible Philadelphians who do not claim this credit each year, resulting in some $100 million left on the table. For more information about volunteering or CWF’s services, call 215-454-6483 or visit cwfphilly.org. ••

Green: Legalize pot, pay reparations

Mayoral candidate Derek Green called on Mayor Jim Kenney to adopt a reparations commission and to appoint board members to the Philadelphia Public Financial Authority, which would address “historic racism” and “inequities” in lending practices. Green supports funding these initiatives through the legalization of adult-use cannabis. Green, a former city councilman, authored a charter change that called on then-Gov. Tom Wolf to legalize adult-use cannabis, which could raise millions to fund reparations initiatives.

“Racial justice is not possible without economic justice,” Green said. “That’s why I spearheaded legislation to establish a Public Bank in Philadelphia, which would increase access to credit for black and brown communities.”

Green championed the legislation in 2022, and it passed 15-1, with only Councilman Brian O’Neill voting against it.

“By giving a fair share of cannabis sales licenses to black retailers, we can raise money for public banking as well as fund initiatives determined by the reparations commission,” Green said. ••

Visit model railroad club

Chelten Hills Model Railroad Club, 8010 Old York Road in Elkins Park, will be hosting open houses from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4-5. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.cheltenhillsmrr.org or Facebook. ••

Tae Kwon Do competition

Red Tiger Tae Kwon Do will hold its USTC Red Tiger Cup on Saturday, May 6, at 8 a.m. at Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road in Newtown. Students will compete in sparring, patterns and special technique with trophies and medals awarded to the top three competitors in each division. Call 215-969-9962. ••

Cruise the Mediterranean

Norwegian Cruise Line will host a Mediterranean cruise from Rome to Venice on Oct. 10-19. The trip is all inclusive with round-trip airfare, a beverage package, all meals, three specialty dinners, taxes, transfers and all gratuities. The cost for a balcony sea view cabin is $3,511 per person. For more information, contact Fillmore Travel’s Kevin Fries at 215-498-8294 or fkevin910@comcast.net. ••

Upcoming cruise

The Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation is sponsoring a fully escorted Holy Lands & Aegean Majesty cruise from Oct. 6-17, visiting Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Italy. Rates, including airfare, range from $4,298 to $8,098 per person, double occupancy. Call 215-788-9408 for information and reservations. ••

South Phila. HS class of ‘68 reunion

The South Philadelphia High School Class of 1968 will hold its 55th reunion on Saturday, Oct. 21, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Waterfall Room, 2015 S. Water St. Tickets cost $60 and include buffet dinner and open bar. For tickets and more information, call Arleen Liberi [609-922-2419], Maria Leati [856-287-3734] or Stephen Michielli [267-252-2740]. ••

Book club to meet in April

The Book Club of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim will be holding a Zoom session on Monday, April 3, at 7 p.m. The book is The Masterpiece by Fionna Davis. For further information, or to register for the book club program, call Lynn Ratmansky at the synagogue office at 215-677-1600. ••

Celebrate 60 years

Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, invites the public to celebrate 60 years of memories and moments on Sunday, March 26, at noon. There will be a brunch buffet, dessert station, mimosas, videos and personal recollections. The cost is $25. Checks payable to Congregations of Shaare Shamayim can be sent to 9768 Verree Road, Philadelphia, PA 19115. The deadline is March 13. Call 215-677-1600. ••

Book discussion series

The Northeast Regional Library Friends’ Group’s book discussion series will take place on Fridays in February at 2 p.m. The series will focus on the immigrant experience, ethnicity and being an American. The schedule is Feb. 3 (We Came to America by Faith Ringgold and All the Way to America by Dan Yaccarino), Feb. 10 (Watercress by Andrea Wang), Feb. 17 (Brothers in Hope: The Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams and A Place Where Sunflowers Grow by Amy Lee-Tai) and Feb. 24 (Dreamers by Yuyi Morales). Books can be borrowed from Northeast Regional’s children’s department. Adults, including senior citizens and their caregivers, are encouraged to participate. Participants are welcome to bring family history items for show and tell. Northeast Regional Library is at 2228 Cottman Ave. Call 215-685-0522. ••

Feb. book club meeting

The Book Club of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim will be holding its February Zoom session on Monday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. The book is The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi. For further information, or to register for the book club program, call Lynn Ratmansky at 215-677-1600. ••

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. ••

Sisterhood meeting

The Sisterhood of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, will be hosting a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m. A representative of Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy will be speaking about the use of strength bands in therapy. Light refreshments will be served. There is no charge. Call 215-677-1600. ••

Sisterhood meeting in March

The Sisterhood of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, will meet on Tuesday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. The speaker will be Rabbi Sandi Berliner. Her topic will be: “What’s on your seder plate – Updating your Seder.” Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free. Call 215-677-1600. ••

Bingo on Feb. 11

St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, at Trenton Avenue and Cumberland Street, will hold bingo on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 1-4 p.m. Doors open at noon. Packages are $20 and include lunch. Call 215-423-0792. ••

Show about WWI

On Sunday, Jan. 29, at 2 p.m., in the headquarters of the Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation, 321 Cedar St. in Bristol Borough, professional actor Neill Hartley will present his one-man show entitled Over There: Songs and Letters of WWI. This fully staged production will feature stories of the war, told in the words of the men and women who lived it, and will include iconic songs of that era. Light refreshment will be served. A donation of $5 per adult is requested, payable at the door. No fee for students. Call 215-788-9408. ••

Bingo on Zoom

The Sisterhood of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim is hosting a virtual bingo on Zoom on two consecutive Mondays, Feb. 13 and 20, starting at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $36 per person and includes two cards for eight games of bingo each night. There will also be a $5 50/50 that will be called on each night. Send your payment to the CSS office, 9768 Verree Road, Philadelphia, PA 19115, attention: Bingo. Payment must be received no later than Monday, Feb. 6, and you must include your email address. The link will be emailed to you before the first bingo night. Call the CSS office at 215-677-1600 and ask for Gerry or Nancy. ••

Cultural trip to Bryn Athyn Cathedral

The Sisterhood of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim will take a one-hour tour of Bryn Athyn Cathedral on Thursday, May 18, at 1 p.m. There are no steps, and restrooms are accessible. The cost is $10 per person. To register, send a check, payable to CSS Sisterhood, with Bryn Athyn on the memo line, to the CSS office, 9768 Verree Road, Philadelphia, PA 19115, Attn: Bryn Athyn. Include the name, email address and phone number of each person registering. For questions, call Lynn Azoulay at 215-677-1600. ••

Weekly art group

Fox Chase Library, 501 Rhawn St., hosts a free art group every Thursday of the month, except the third Thursday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Bring your supplies. Call 215-685-0549. ••

Game day at KleinLife

KleinLife, 10100 Jamison Ave., will host a card and board game day on Wednesday, Feb. 8, beginning at 12:30 p.m. There is a $1 donation fee upon entry. Games will include Rummikub, Scrabble, Hand & Foot Canasta and Monopoly. Money collected will be put into a 50-50 drawing. Light refreshments will be served. ••

Flea market Feb. 4-5

The music ministry at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish, 2000 Shelmire Ave., is having a flea market on Feb. 4-5, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Glassware, jewelry, pocketbooks and other items will be on sale at deep discounts. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Call 215-745-3211, Ext. 109. ••

Tu B’Shevat Lunch and Seder

The Congregations of Shaare Shamayim is hosting a Tu B’Shevat Lunch and Seder on Sunday, Feb. 5.  Cost is $20 per person. To reserve, mail payment to the CSS office, 9768 Verree Road, Philadelphia, PA 19115. For further information, call the synagogue office at 215-677-1600.

Studying head and neck cancer at FCCC

Pedro Torres-Ayuso, an assistant professor in the Cancer Signaling and Microenvironment research program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, recently received a grant that will be incorporated into the Specialized Program of Research Excellence for head and neck cancer.

“One of the goals of the SPORE program is to identify better ways to target head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. My study aligns with other major projects for the grant, which are headed by Dr. Erica Golemis at Fox Chase and Dr. Barbara Burtness from Yale. Their studies investigate new targets for these patients and look into how they can impact the effectiveness of current treatments,” Torres-Ayuso said.

He received $50,000 in funding through the SPORE Career Enhancement Program, which aims to enhance head and neck translational work by providing funding for new and established investigators who have developed an interest in studying this type of cancer.

The main SPORE grant, which is a competitive five-year, $11.7 million grant funded through the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, is a collaboration among Fox Chase Cancer Center, Yale Cancer Center and the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to address obstacles in treating head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

“For many head and neck cancer patients, we don’t know what the target is for cancer treatment. With the research that will be conducted with my CEP grant, we wanted to characterize a protein kinase that is frequently amplified in head and neck tumors and study whether this protein kinase can actually serve as a target,” Torres-Ayuso said.

He is applying findings from his previous research in lung squamous cell carcinoma to investigate the use of the protein kinase coding gene TNIK as a target in head and neck cancer. This study, which was published in the journal Cancer Discovery, was the first to not only identify TNIK as a kinase necessary for the development of lung squamous cell carcinomas, but also characterize how it contributes to that development.

“What’s exciting about this research is that we are doing it in a biomarker-driven way, so results support what we call precision medicine — tailoring specific treatments to individual patients. Often, this way of treating patients is not only more efficient but also less toxic. This can drastically improve a patient’s quality of life, which is ultimately one of our biggest goals,” Torres-Ayuso said. ••

Book club’s March meeting set

The Book Club of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim will be holding a Zoom session on Monday, March 6, at 7 p.m. The book is The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline. For further information, or to register for the book club program, call Lynn Ratmansky at the synagogue office at 215-677-1600. ••

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