December 21: $6 million to Promise Zone schools | Inside Divine Lorraine | Trusting Trump’s infrastructure plan

We published more than 700 articles this year – how many did you read? We ask you, dear reader, to put a value on the public service journalism we provide you all year long. PlanPhilly needs to raise $25,000 before the year is out and we have $10,000 to go! Can you help us reach our goal? Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.

Seven schools in the West Philly Promise Zone will benefit from $6 million in federal funding to from the Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhoods competition. Kristen Graham reports the funds will focus on a “cradle-to-career pipeline” and take a trauma-informed approach to teaching.

Drexel professor James Buehler studied fatal police shootings nationally over the last five years found blacks are nearly three times as likely to be killed by police than whites. reminds us that in Philadelphia, “police have killed five and wounded nine in 2016. In 2012, a peak year for officer-involved shootings in the city, 16 were killed and 32 wounded.”

To anyone who believes that we can build our way out of highway congestion, this piece on the $1.6 billion expansion of L.A.’s 405 Freeway offers a cautionary tale. Widening at the notorious bottleneck, the Sepulveda Pass (which yours truly used to have to traverse daily to get to and from school), was meant to alleviate congestion, but it hasn’t provided significant relief. “Peak afternoon traffic time has indeed decreased to five hours from seven hours’ duration (yes, you read that right) and overall traffic capacity has increased. But congestion is as bad — even worse — during the busiest rush hours of 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., according to a study by the county Metropolitan Transportation Authority.”

From the Department of Pinch Me: The Divine Lorraine is nearly move-in ready. Billy Penn peeks inside.

Streetsblog USA editor Angie Schmitt warns taxpayers to be wary of Donald Trump’s hazy proposal to invest $1 trillion in American infrastructure. Trump proposes tax breaks to incentivize private firms to build transportation projects, which means newly tolled roads. But, she cautions, “Four in 10 U.S. highways do not carry enough traffic to generate fuel taxes sufficient to pay for their maintenance, let alone construction, according to the Center for American Progress.” Add to that the weak regulatory environment in the U.S. around toll roads and protections to ensure taxpayers aren’t stuck with the bill, and there’s reason to be cautious.

Gingerbread city? One in Bergen, Norway purports to be the largest in the world. Take a virtual tour with Atlas Obscura.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal