Broad Street Brief: Birds of the Philadelphia Zoo Make First Public Appearance in Months

September 1, 2022

Birds of the Philadelphia Zoo Make First Public Appearance in Months

After several months in quarantine, some of the Philadelphia Zoo’s most famous feathered residents — including penguins, flamingos, hornbills, and emus — have finally returned to their outdoor exhibits. The Philadelphia Zoo has been keeping its birds in quarantine to protect them from, and prevent the spread of, a particularly virulent outbreak of avian flu that has impacted birds across the country.

Suburbs Currently Outpacing City in Terms of Rental Market

According to a report recently released by online rental marketplace RentCafe, suburban  Philadelphia currently ranks among the top 20 most competitive rental markets in the country when accounting for occupancy rates, available units, the total number of renters seeking accommodations, and rental renewal rates. The Philadelphia area is increasingly popular with out-of-towners and millennials, and often, rental units close to the city offer more space for a similar cost.

Locals Discuss Potential Roosevelt Boulevard Subway Extension Project at Town Hall Meeting

On Saturday, State Representative Jared Solomon hosted a town hall meeting where more than 100 community members discussed their opinions on a new Roosevelt Boulevard subway extension project proposal. The concept has circulated among Philadelphians in one form or another for over a century and has gained even more traction in recent months. Advocates cite reduced environmental impact, increased economic opportunity, and better connection between northeast Philadelphia and the rest of the city as reasons to proceed with the project, while detractors have concerns about how property values and cost of living in the neighborhood would be impacted.

First Day of School for Philadelphia Under New Superintendent Watlington

On Monday, approximately 114,000 Philadelphia children returned to school. Among the Philadelphia School District’s first-day first-timers was new Superintendent Tony B. Watlington Sr., whose preparations for the 2022-23 school year began in June. The new school year brings some familiar challenges for the superintendent, including staffing shortages, underfunding, and handling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Lumber From “Reforestation Hub” Initiative May Be on Market as Soon as Next Spring

Lumber produced by “Reforestation Hub,” Philadelphia’s new pilot program that aims to reduce wood waste by processing usable wood from fallen trees, may be available for purchase as soon as next spring. The program is funded in part by the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation budget, as well as a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service. The proceeds of lumber sales will benefit the city’s efforts to increase the urban tree canopy. The management of wood waste has become a pressing issue in recent years due to the increasing intensity and frequency of storms due to climate change, invasive species like the spotted lanternfly, and the advanced age of many existing trees.

A Guide to Philadelphia’s Many Government Agencies

The purpose and function of Philadelphia’s many departments and agencies is often opaque to residents, and names are not always intuitive. Thankfully, Billy Penn has put together a list of nine government agencies that sheds light on their primary responsibilities and services offered to the public, including helpful links and contact information for each.

Race for City Council Positions is Officially Underway as Former Kenney Administration Official Declares Candidacy

On Saturday, Michael R. Galvan, formerly with Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration, became the first candidate to throw their hat in the ring for city council primary elections in May 2023, kicking off what is sure to be a competitive race. With the mayoral race also expected to be hotly contested, it is unclear how many current members of city council will be running as incumbents. If their bid is successful, Galvan would be the first openly LGBTQ person elected to city council.

President Biden to Visit Philadelphia for Primetime Speech on Democracy

President Joe Biden will be visiting Philadelphia on Thursday to give a primetime speech on the importance of upholding democracy. The visit comes at a crucial time for Democrats, who face an uphill battle in the two months leading up to the midterm elections. Biden’s approval ratings have been relatively low throughout the past year, though they have seen a slight boost due to recent legislative victories. In addition to his stop in Philadelphia, President Biden will also visit Wilkes-Barre and Pittsburgh next week.

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