News Roundup April 21, 2017

Vientiane Cafe Philadelphia

Vientiane's Adventurous Eats Dinner Is Not for the Squeamish

Cuisine imported from other countries is usually, out of necessity, adapted to the local palate. The original ingredients might not be readily available, or the heat and spice might be more than the average American taste buds can handle. But Vientiane Cafe is throwing caution to the wind with an Adventurous Eats dinner inspired by the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.

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Redevelopment authority selects firm to redevelop houses destroyed in MOVE incident

The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority selected AJR Endeavors to redevelop three dozen properties that were involved in the infamous MOVE explosion that took place in 1985 and marred a neighborhood, the city and its mayor.

The effort by the city agency looks to have those properties redeveloped and, though it won’t erase history, it has the potential to set that part of Philadelphia on a new course.

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Philly Black community leaders launch iBuyBlack discount card

A new program is being launched with the idea of keeping your dollars in your community.

African American business owners say this program is aimed at encouraging city residents to spend their dollars at black owned businesses. And with a discount card, the hope is they will do just that.

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Horticultural Society to plant trees in honor of slain activist

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will plant trees in honor of a slain local activist, beginning with 31 in University City and will place a tree in Clark Park. The planting will be in honor of Winnie Harris, a greening activist who was slain in February.

A walking procession will begin at 10 a.m. on April 22 from the City School — Spruce Hill campus parking lot, 4115 Baltimore Ave., to a ceremony that will be held at Clark Park, in the 4300 block of Baltimore Ave.

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Solar co-ops help homeowners harness the sun’s energy

Sal Fede's house isn't much to look at from the street. With a low roof and a drab-colored wall hiding the windows in the front, it could almost be mistaken for a bunker or a fallout shelter.

 "It's called the 'backward house' on the block," says Fede, who's 52.

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Kudos for a One-Man Community Development Corporation

For many years, the nicest building at the intersection of 40th and Chestnut streets in University City was the one with the sign reading “Chestnut Villa” on top of it. Neat and tidy, with crimson awnings over its storefront windows, it was a signal that at least one person cared about this sometimes-bedraggled crossroads on the fringe of the University of Pennsylvania campus.

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Local attorney hopes to become nation's first male trans judge

Columnists don't usually single out a candidate running for office unless it's newsworthy.   

That certainly is the case with Henry McGregor Sias.  Should the 40-year-old lawyer emerge victorious  in the May 16 Democratic primary for a Common Pleas Court seat,  he'll have cleared a major hurdle toward becoming the nation's first transgender man to be elected a judge.

Sias, who has clerked under various local judges and also started his own law practice, hopes his unique story will help boost voter turnout in his favor.

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