August 16: ‘Remove Rizzo’ | No permits? No problem | NMTC review

Of monuments and men, memorials and public land sales in today’s news:

Following the events in Charlottesville, Councilmember Helen Gym calls for the removal of the Frank Rizzo statue outside the Municipal Services Building. Gym joins a longtime conversation about tributes to Rizzo; Mayor Kenney, council president Darrell Clarke and councilmembers Cindy Bass and Derek Green agree that it’s time to discuss the statue’s location.

Last August, Black Lives Matter Philly and the Philly Coalition for Racial, Economic And Legal Justice activists organized a protest to remove the statue. Last July, Philadelphia street artist Joe Boruchow installed wheatpaste posters entitled ‘Remove Rizzo,’ questioning, as Streets Dept.’s Conrad Benner puts it, “why we have a statue honoring the most divisive mayor in Philadelphia’s modern history across the street from Philadelphia’s City Hall.”

Monuments fall and monuments rise: a memorial dedicated to 19th century African-American scholar and civil rights activist Octavius V. Catto will be unveiled on the south apron of City Hall on September 26, writes Amy Cohen for Hidden City Philadelphia. This will be the first public statue of an individual black leader installed in Center City.    

The New York Times reports that Baltimore removed Confederate monuments shortly after midnight on Wednesday. Baltimore City Council voted on Monday to take down the statues.  

Philadelphia, what are your thoughts on the matter? PlanPhilly is currently soliciting essays on “What is a monument?” leading up to Mural Art’s Monument Lab.

The Treasury Department has released the findings from a compliance review of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, Next City’s Oscar Perry Abello reports. The review examines whether award “recipients’ investment activities have aligned with the objectives of the program…to stimulate investment and economic development in the most economically distressed areas, both urban and rural.”

Philadelphia officials tried to bar developers with outstanding code violations from buying public land but developers still manage to bypass the approval process, writes City & State PA’s Ryan Briggs.

Looking towards the total solar eclipse next Monday: WHYY’s Irina Zhorov reports that if the skies remain clear, the eclipse will interrupt the power-generating capacity of solar panels across the region.

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