Jan 22: MLK Day recap | parks funding puzzle | Girard Ave East facelift | spite-blight update | Ms. Mayor?

Good morning, Streeters. Bundle up out there. It’s going to be a cold, windy one today and more to come this week: An actual winter snowstorm is predicted for Friday. As for today just watch out for the icy stuff this morning. Here’s your Tuesday am Buzz:

To honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, thousands of Philadelphians gathered for a day of service Monday, reports the Inquirer. Some 110,000 volunteers were estimated to participate in 1,500 projects across the region, from brightening up school and recreation facilities with fresh paint to collecting socks and professional attire for people in need.

Philadelphia’s park budget conundrum boils down to one thing: Everyone loves parks and rec centers but few are willing to pay for them. Next City examines the problem and how citizen activism by groups like the Philadelphia Parks Alliance has helped force City Council to increase Parks and Rec’s paltry budget for the first time in years.

New Kensington CDC has secured several funding streams to help improve the East Girard Avenue commercial corridor, reports Flying Kite. Through a LISC Corridors of Retail Excellence grant NKCDC is launching a Model Block Initiative to help business improve window displays, facades, and the pedestrian (read: potential customer) experience. A grant from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development is funding a marketing plan for Girard Avenue East by local firms, Interface Studio and Letter 27.

Amy Z. Quinn has been following the spite-blight case in the Penn-Knox area of Germantown for PlanPhilly/NewsWorks and reports that the badly neglected historic building at 5357 Knox Street has been sold by owner Anthony Byrne to his daughter. At the latest in more than a dozen court hearings over the willful neglect of his Knox Street property, Anthony Byrne told the judge that he’d transferred ownership of the property to his daughter, a questionably legal move given the outstanding code violations, overdue taxes, and fines he owes. So far Byrne owes the city $40,000.

When will one of Philly’s many smart women run for mayor? The Daily News ponders the question in an editorial, noting that since Happy Fernandez ran for mayor in 1999 no woman from a major party has thrown her hat in the ring. And she was the first. “There is chatter about potential female contenders for the next mayoral election. But where’s the action? This is a city full of highly accomplished women. Why don’t more go after the big jobs, like mayor or governor?”

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.

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