July 26: School District explainer | Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church cemetery uncovered | City responds to E. Germantown roach, rodent problem | Conserving Bancroft campus | New approach to CDC corridor cleanup

Happy Friday Streeters! Here’s one last dose of news before you head off for the weekend.

Calling the Philadelphia School District’s funding crisis a nightmare is no exaggeration, says the Committee of Seventy in its breakdown of where things stand with the public schools right now. With the first day of school a mere 40-some days off, Committee of Seventy has released an explainer detailing just how bad the situation is and how we might at least attempt to fix it. The piece wastes no time getting to the point. “This crisis is the worst we’ve ever seen,” it states. 

Archaeologists are working to uncover remains of the 19th century cemetery that belonged to Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, the country’s oldest African-American church, and is now buried itself under Weccacoe Park in South Philadelphia’s Queen Village. Thursday morning the team unearthed the gravestone of “Ameila Brown, 1819, Aged 26 years.” At the time when Brown was buried, cemeteries in Philadelphia would not accept black people. In 1864 the church sold the property, which was later abandoned, used as a dump and developed into a playground by the city sometime shortly after 1888.

The same day the Daily News reported about 12 East Germantown homes swarmed by mice and roaches from a neighboring house, city workers in hazmat suits fumigated the house concerning neighbors. L&I inspectors had visited the house three times since April and new information prompted the city to take action. The city will bill the owner for the fumigation. 

The New Jersey Conservation Foundation has approached Camden County about purchasing 13 acres of the 19.2-acre Bancroft campus in Haddonfield and adding those acres to adjacent county parkland. Talks with the county are still developing, but Bancroft has been looking to sell its Haddonfield campus since 2005. 

In Washington the Lincoln Memorial was vandalized with green paint, which was splashed or sprayed near the feet and base of the famed statue. The memorial is closed until it can be cleaned.  

New Kensington CDC (NKCDC) has come up with a slightly different approach to corridor cleaning, an approach that fits its needs while staying within the tight budget paid for by the Philadelphia Commerce Department. Rather than use part-time or volunteer workers, the NKCDC has decided instead to focus on a single worker. By doing so, NKCDC is able to pay their sole corridor cleaning employee a living wage with benefits and sick time

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