The River Wards LOVE their parks; St. Benjamin Brewery in Kensington reaches fundraising goal; woman punched by cop gets big reward; John Taylor could become chairman of the Philadelphia Republican Party.
Community turns out for LOVE Your Park Week
Despite gray skies, neighbors across the River Wards put on a pair of gloves, grabbed a shovel, paint-brush and hoe, and put their all into cleaning and replanting their local parks last Saturday.
The bi-annual “Love your Park!” weeklong celebration of community and parks, which continues this weekend, gets volunteers across the city to tidy flower beds in their parks, repaint signs, plant new flowers, and pick up trash at parks.
On Saturday, May 11, volunteers worked in Powers Park at Ann and Almond streets, Pulaski Park at Delaware Avenue and Allegheny Street, and Campbell Square at Allegheny Ave and Almond Street — all in Port Richmond.
In Northern Liberties, volunteers headed to Liberty Lands at N. 3rd and Wildey streets. In Kensington, clean-ups took place at Hart Park, at N. 4th and Master streets, and Benson Park, at N. Lawrence and Jefferson streets.
In Fishtown, due to rain, the spring clean-up and planting in Konrad Square at Dauphin and Tulip streets was rescheduled for next Saturday.
More “Love Your Park!” events will take place on Saturday May 18, including a festival at McPherson Square at Clearfield and F streets, with games, entertainment, and family events. Penn Treaty Park is holding a flea market. ••
Kensington brewery meets fundraising goal
St. Benjamin’s Brewing Company can now rest easy, as they celebrate reaching and surpassing their fundraising goal of $20,000 to rebuild a historic brewery for their business. They ended up raising $21,275.
St. Benjamin’s Brewing Company is building a brewery and pub on N. 5th St., in the former carriage house of the
Theo Finkenauer Brewery, a fully operational brewery until the late 1800’s.
The company plans to rebuild the facade with historic features to honor the rich history of brewing in Philadelphia. They set up an online crowd-sourcing web site offering prizes to donors.
In addition to brewing local beer, Saint Benjamin’s plans to open a pub with a 30-seat bar that serves sandwiches, salads and snacks as well as local beer and wine.
Owner and brewmaster Tim Patton said he planned to open the brewery in the fall, and he’ll be hosting several events during Philadelphia Beer Week, which can be found here: http://phillybeerweek.org/bio_page.cfm?venue_code=594.
“I am really floored by the support of family, friends, community members and beer fans, the last two days of the fundraiser where we raised over $8,000 were completely unexpected,” Patton said. ••
City awards woman $75k for being hit by officer
Aida Guzman, who was struck in the head by former Philadelphia Police Lt. Jonathan Josey during a celebration following the Puerto Rican Day Parade last September, will receive a $75,000 settlement from the city for her lawsuit alleging police misconduct, city officials confirmed last week.
In a controversial verdict, Josey was acquitted in February of simple assault charges in criminal court for striking Guzman in the face.
A video that quickly went viral last fall showed Josey punch Aida Guzman, of Chester, in the head. The incident occurred during a street party at 5th Street and Lehigh Avenue, following the city’s annual Puerto Rican Day parade.
Days later, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsay fired Josey, 39, a 19-year veteran of the department.
Guzman had been charged with disorderly conduct — she admitted that she was spraying silly string at the celebration. Those charges were later dropped, and Mayor Michael Nutter apologized to Guzman at a news conference following the incident. ••
Rep. Taylor to head Philly GOP?
Vito Canuso, who has been the chairman of the Philadelphia Republican Party for almost two decades, has announced he’s retiring.
Canuso’s expected replacement, pending approval by ward leaders, is Rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.), the only Republican who represents Philadelphia in the state House of Representatives.
Taylor won his 15th re-election last November with 57 percent of the vote. His district is reportedly 68 percent Democratic, and includes neighborhoods from Port Richmond and Kensington to Wissinoming and Mayfair.
Taking on the new role would make Taylor the city’s top Republican Party leader and spokesperson.
-Compiled by Sam Newhouse