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A Philadelphia icon returns

Philadelphia’s LOVE statue made its triumphant return home to LOVE Park on Tuesday, just in time for the Valentine’s Day selfies. The iconic 1976 Robert Indiana sculpture traveled from the Art Museum back to JFK Plaza/LOVE Park, dubbed ‘Philly’s 2nd Most Exciting Parade’ by the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy. The statue, which hadn't budged from its pedestal in the park since 1998, is now restored to its original red, green, and purple. The makeover cost $55,000, according to The New York Times.

On Friday, local Latino leaders will be asking Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rossello to help release federal resources for Puerto Ricans who evacuated to the city after Hurricane Maria, Catalina Jaramillo reports. Federal support through the Temporary Shelter Assistance program will run out Valentine’s Day; Mayor Jim Kenney said the federal government should make more funds available ASAP and Governor Tom Wolf formally requested that FEMA extend the hotel program for affected families in the state. Jaramillo speaks with evacuees in Philadelphia who are working to afford their own housing on NewsWorks Tonight.

Heavy rain is to blame for Monday’s slew of traffic light outages at six busy intersections in West Philly and Center City, Philly Mag reports. A Streets Department spokesperson told Philly Mag that crews investigated the offed traffic lights and “blamed the malfunctions on power outages.” PECO said that crews are investigating and repairing the outages, explaining that “most of the outages are ‘coincidental’ and that the recent rainy weather is to blame for the delay in getting them fixed.”

With a Super Bowl win behind them, The Eagles' next defeat should be of Temple’s proposed football stadium in North Philly, WURD Radio’s Charles D. Ellison argues in a Philadelphia Citizen column. “Temple, with its insatiable gentrifying appetite, has greedily consumed the North section of Philly for years,” writes Ellison, “increasingly expanding its footprint in a bid to become the world’s largest urban university.” Ellison recognizes that Temple is an “anchor institution,” but its growth has come as a cost to the university’s vulnerable neighbors, he contends. Ellison cites a Hidden City article that observes “a 19 percent decrease" in black residents living in the neighborhood surrounding the campus as rents increase and property owners target students and others paying more rent than the families who had previously lived in the area. 

Remember when the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery—the oldest and largest refinery on the East Coast — filed for bankruptcy? To understand PES’s decision nd the company’s backstory, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy dove into this complicated case and dismantled its pieces through a blog series. Part 1: Philadelphia Energy Solutions Bankruptcy Basics’ focuses on the background of the business, the stated reasons for bankruptcy, the company’s funky mix of political will, public subsidies, and private capital kept PES in its current form.

About the author

Diana Lu, Community Engagement Editor

Diana runs PlanPhilly’s community outreach and engagement online and in real life. She has spent more than ten years in the non-profit and public sectors working on urban development issues including environmental justice, design-based manufacturing, and community and economic development.  Prior to joining PlanPhilly, Diana worked as the Director of Partnerships and Outreach for 10,000 Small Businesses, a public-private initiative focused strengthening local businesses through revenue generation and local job creation.  Follow Diana on instagram @dianaluwho and email her at dlu@whyy.org.



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    Photo Credit: Kim Paynter/WHYY

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