City Finally Dismantles Boarded Up Frankford Home

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4712 Worth Street (center)
Photo credit: Google Street View.

It’s not even city-owned blight, which begs the question…if it had it been, how much longer would it have taken? After almost a year of neighborhood meeting complaints and 311 calls to the city, the boarded up charred remains of this Frankford home are finally being removed. And at a heavier penny than usual, too.

John Loftus of the Northeast Times reports that after 4712 Worth Street burned down last July, the city stamped it with the ever ubiquitous “imminently dangerous” label and barred its entry. (Although a neighbor says possums and raccoons still managed to settle in.)

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Northeast Philly Native Helped Rescue Man After Calif. Shark Attack

A Northeast Philadelphia native was one of the rescuers of a man bit by a shark in California. A lifeguard for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Nick Macko was about 10 blocks away when he heard about a swimmer in trouble over his radio.

Macko then helped swimmers and other lifeguards give the injured long-distance swimmer, Steven Robles, medical assistance. Macko was a lifeguard in North Wildwood for nine summers starting in 1999.

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Mayfair’s Devon Theater Is One of Philly’s Most Popular Listings

devon theaterThe Devon Theater at 6325-43 Frankford Avenue opened in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia in 1946. Some years it featured first-run movies; other years, it showed second-run only. There was an experiment with adult film screenings during the 1970s, but community opposition quashed that.

We asked a Mayfair native in his early 30s if he had any associations with the Devon. “When my parents were kids,” he said, “it showed first-run stuff. By the time I was a kid in the early 1990s, it showed movies things that came out a few months before, and it was maybe a $1.50 for a film. There was a hole in the screen, I don’t know how big. I think I saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit there.”

He also remembered being told that during the years when the theater had porn screenings in addition to regular movies, Catholic school kids weren’t allowed to go to the Devon at all–and if you were caught there, you’d get in trouble in school. “Not because you were seeing porn, but because they didn’t want you supporting such a business.”

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KKK Grand Dragon Doesn’t Understand Why Tacony Town Watch Kicked Him Out

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William Walters

After years of dedicated service with the Tacony Town Watch, Bill Walters was told his services were no longer needed earlier this year. The reason for his ouster? Walters is a proud member of the East Coast Knights of the True Invisible Empire, that empire being the Ku Klux Klan. And Walters isn’t just a member. No, he’s the group’s Grand Dragon, which at least sounds impressive.

“We received information that Bill had been distributing flyers in the neighborhood trying to recruit new members,” says town watch president Joe Nicoletti of the excommunication, adding that no one on the town watch had a clue about their neighbor’s association with the Klan until the flyers turned up. “And part of our bylaws state that members must promote harmony in the neighborhood, and we all know that harmony is not what the KKK is about.”

Walters has been with the KKK, which he consistently refers to as “my Christian group,” for over 30 years. He has lived in the Tacony neighborhood for the last 20, joining the town watch about five years ago. Walters also served as Republican committeeman in the 65th Ward for more than a decade until he was recently kicked out.

And Walters doesn’t get what all of the fuss is about.

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Philadelphia Gets Dietz & Watson From from New Jersey

Dietz & Watson announced today that it will build a 200,000-square foot distribution facility in Philadelphia’s Frankford Arsenal. (A move to Philly  had been rumored in February.) The thing that makes this a bigger deal than usual? The facility replaces one that burnt down in New Jersey last year.

The deal, apparently brokered by Councilman Bobby Henon, relocates the distribution center next to the company’s current production facility on Tacony Street. The city invested $6 million in property in the Arsenal and offered Dietz & Watson $7 million in incentives to broker the deal. Some of the land acquired by the city in the deal will be turned over to Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation department. The deal will bring 158 jobs to the city.

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Photos: The KKK Showed Up at the Free Library on Saturday Afternoon

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On Saturday, the first day of summer, a handful of KKK members headed out to the Tacony branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. The exact purpose for this, er, rally is a little unclear, and the KKK hasn’t returned a call we placed to their home office, but from what we hear, the whole thing started when one of the Klansmen was denied a spot on the Tacony Town Watch.

It’s fair to say that those who showed up to scream, gawk, or laugh at the KKK exponentially outnumbered the KKK slobs, as evidenced in the video and photos below.

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Gunmen Nab $105K from Armored Truck in Northeast Philly

NBC 10 reports two men with assault rifles held up a Garda armored car this morning, getting away with $105,000 in cash.

Police say the two men, wearing black bandanas over their faces, robbed an armored car at the TD Bank at Frankford and Wells in Tacony. The men then hopped into a white van before ditching that car to jump into a white Cadillac. They may have accomplices in that last car.

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