A blighted area of NW Philadelphia, around Martin Luther King Highschool, is now slated for a $3 million improvement.
The money will be used to acquire and rehabilitate five abandoned houses in the 1300 block of East Haines Street; restore trails and clear brush in Awbury Park; refurbish playgrounds at two recreation centers; clean up a polluted plot of land near the high school; and plant trees throughout the neighborhood.
State Rep. (and mayoral hopeful?) Dwight Evans gets credit for spearheading the project, along with a number of other local pols, and they hope that this will be the start of a larger push in the NW generally.
This week's Philadelphia Weekly includes a story expanding on yesterday's Daily News piece about the fear of crime in Northern Liberties. Several groups are advocating redistricting the police department so that the neighborhood doesn't have to compete with Old City and Columbus Blvd. for weekend coverage. Meanwhile, some residents worry that the negative coverage will skewer their development bubble.
Meanwhile, across the river in New Jersey, the town of Mount Holly has been having a local battle over eminent domain (sort of), which ended yesterday with a judge's ruling against the Gardens neighborhood homeowners. Part of the problem is that the town hasn't really come up with a specific development proposal, but has been buying up houses with the intent to make something better -- too little for the judge to call discriminatory (but presumably by the time he can, it will be too late).