New name for Fairmount Park Art Association | construction at Police Academy | Fumo and tax relief | zombie graduates | $15m to Philadelphia U

The Fairmount Park Art Association has changed its name for the first time since 1872. Now it’s the Association for Public Art (aPA is how they want it abbreviated), a name which the organization feels more successfully captures their mission.

This week construction started on a new tactical training facility at the Police Academy in Upper Holmesburg, reports NEast Philly. The new facility will serve the K-9, bomb squad, and SWAT units.

What does Vince Fumo have to do with the current property tax debate? The Daily News reports, Fumo passed a bill 24 years ago that would allow City Council to provide property tax relief to long-term homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods. The only problem was that Council couldn’t decide how to do it. Now, in light of concerns about the Actual Value Initiative, Council President Darrell Clarke wants to use the authority given by Fumo’s bill and gear its relief towards low-income residents.

Tom Ferrick makes the case for the School District’s radical realignment based on the academic performance of the majority of 11th graders: “below basic.” He writes, “They are dead when it comes to a future in the job market. They are zombies.” To defend the way the system currently functions, Ferrick contends, is to keep turning out kids who are unprepared and unable to work.

Philadelphia University in East Falls was given $15 million to support its new interdisciplinary College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. The gift from Maurice Kanbar, founder of Skyy Vodka, is the largest in the university’s history, reports the Business Journal.


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