February 27: Jewish cemetery desecrated | Royal farewell | Secret green spaces

More than 500 graves were desecrated at Mount Carmel Cemetery off of Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, reports WHYY’s Bobby Allyn. The Anti-Defamation League and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 are offering $13,000 to help catch the perpetrators that targeted the historic Jewish cemetery. Mayor Jim Kenney said the city would do all it could to find the perpetrators and prosecute. “Hate is not permissible in Philadelphia.”

After 47 years of vacancy and neglect, demolition of South Street West’s Royal Theater began earlier this month. Hidden City traces the history of Philadelphia’s first and largest black-run theater. Everything but the theater’s facade is being razed, will be replaced with luxury units and ground floor retail.

Over on Ridge Avenue in Sharswood, the Checker Club still stands. Inga Saffron covers the history of the last remaining building of North Philadelphia’s jazz heyday set in the heart of the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s new urban renewal project.

Spring-like weather is in the air, so Philadelphians have been flocking to the sidewalk cafes and reposing outdoors. Curbed Philly has a map of secret gardens, parks, and green spaces for those looking for a little urban green.

While Philadelphians may be increasingly aware of the impact of immigrant in the city’s revitalization, residents of West Frankfort, a struggling coal-mining city in Illinois, were not largely concerned with illegal immigration in the last election. But that was before ICE detained a beloved local business owner in this town that voted Trump. New York Times covers the “uncomfortable stance for a place like West Frankfort.”

San Francisco’s Vision Zero champion Nicole Ferrara will soon lead pedestrian safety efforts for Oakland’s first Department of Transportation. Next City interviews the new “pedestrian safety czar” on her visions for Oakland, inspired by her coalition-building efforts with organizations, advocates, and community leaders in San Francisco.

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