November 24, 2015 |
The man known as Philly Jesus has launched an Internet fund-raising campaign seeking to raise $70 million to expand, perhaps even make global, his LOVE Park-centered street ministry. Mike Grant, as Philly Jesus is otherwise known, wrote on his GoFundMe page, launched Nov. 9, that he needed the millions to further his ministry. To do that, he highlighted many anticipated expenses, including: "A building/stadium for the Philly Jesus Ministry. " "A helicopter/jet for the Philly Jesus Ministry to transport the ministry from and to future speaking engagements across the WORLD to share my testimony how JESUS saved me from the dark hole of addiction and despair . . . and to spread The Gospel of Jesus Christ to every creature in existence.
November 13, 2015 |
Carolyn Ruggeri went to Camden on Wednesday to help heroin addicts avoid the fate of her daughter, Rose, who died a drug-related death in 2012. Patty DiRenzo was there for her late son, Sal. And for Tom Bush, the effort was likewise personal: He's lost three extended family members - all in their 20s - to heroin in recent years. "We're trying to spread awareness about this epidemic," Bryan J. Bush, assistant business manager of Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, told about 50 law enforcement officers, union members, and other volunteers in front of Camden County police headquarters.
November 11, 2015 |
Dance, as a genre, might not appear conducive to documentary storytelling, what with the lack of words and all. Yet two such projects, both based on sociologies of marginal Philadelphia communities, are set to debut within a week - and a few blocks - of each other. One of these world premieres, at FringeArts, is Home/S. 9th St. by Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, a kinetic tale of migration that draws on interviews with more than 60 immigrants in South Philadelphia. The other, at the Painted Bride, is Pushers from Dance Iquail, based on choreographer Iquail Shaheed's family history of addiction - his father died of a heroin overdose in March - and on conversations with young people from the city's Mantua section, where he grew up. Kun-Yang Lin said dance was uniquely able to convey the essence of lived experience.
November 9, 2015 |
Robert "Bobby" Bonds, 61, of Bala Cynwyd, an Amtrak executive who used his own recovery from addiction to fuel a program designed to help others, died Thursday, Oct. 29, of cancer at home. A 39-year Amtrak employee, Mr. Bonds devoted his life to Operation RedBlock, a drug and alcohol intervention and prevention program at the rail company that has grown to be a model for the nation and Europe. Developed more than 30 years ago, it provided guidelines for employees' families and friends on how to persuade loved ones to kick their addictions and stay substance-free.
November 7, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Gov. Christie is getting robust political traction - nearly six million views on Facebook at last count - with an impassioned speech recorded from Shooter's Tavern in Belmont, N.H., about treating drug addiction. But back in New Jersey, an Atlantic City inpatient treatment center that accounts for 10 percent of the state's long-term recovery beds has said it will close this spring - in part because the state's reimbursement rates are too low to sustain a move out of the tourism zone Christie set up. Alan Oberman, executive director of the John Brooks Recovery Center, said the state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority had also backed off a plan to fully finance the construction of a new 119-bed facility and that he has been unable to secure construction loans.
October 23, 2015 |
HERE ARE five buzzed-about movies that do not (yet) have theatrical distribution, so you can see them locally on the big screen only at the Film Festival. * THE HIGH SUN. The recipient of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival took home the honor for its complex look at the fallout from ethnic wars in the former Yugoslavia, between 1991 to 2011. The story is told from the standpoint of six people and three love stories. In the process, Croatian director Dalibor Matanic manages to convey what was once possible, what was lost and the unhealed scars that remain.
October 20, 2015 |
A FEW WEEKS AGO, I sat in an old church in Kensington and listened to people talk about loved ones they'd lost to the disease of addiction. Most had been addicted to heroin. The son who, over his favorite pancakes, made endless promises to get clean. The adored niece who seemed able to conquer all except a consuming addiction. The daughter who took one more hit, her last. It was the heartbreaking flip side of an afternoon spent in the Philadelphia suburb of Glen Mills with a woman who knew that if she didn't stop using heroin, her family would probably one day be memorializing her. Nicole Kapulsky, 38, a mother of three, is a small woman with a big, welcoming smile and bright, clear eyes that radiate excitement about her life these days.
October 19, 2015 |
Pat McGuckin barely recognized her 39-year-old son. Once a personal trainer and bodybuilder, Michael now was exhausted, his limbs bloated, his mood so volatile that he ripped the phone off her wall. He told his worried mother that he was in pain from a car accident but that a doctor was helping him. On Oct. 21, 2007, his younger brother found Michael in bed, his body cold. A few days later, their mother stared at the words on the death certificate, struggling to understand what had killed her son. She dialed Richard J. Hollawell, a friend of Michael's since childhood in Northeast Philadelphia.
October 9, 2015 |
For a woman who purports to be dismayed and appalled by it, Kathleen Kane has a surprisingly intimate relationship with pornography. In fact, the attorney general has made the genre the deliberate focus of her administration for more than a year. If Kane is remembered as anything other than an ostensible law enforcer who undermined criminal investigations while accruing criminal charges, it will be as Pennsylvania's porn prosecutor. Since Kane accidentally uncovered thousands of pornographic and offensive emails exchanged by prosecutors, judges, and other officials, their disclosure has been advocated by, among others, a governor, a chief justice, The Inquirer, and Kane herself.
October 2, 2015 |
The artists invited to contribute to "Open Source" - the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program's temporary, citywide exhibition taking place this month - were given an artist's fee, a project budget, and access to vast swaths of the city as their canvases. In return, they were required to work with underserved Philadelphians, from prison inmates to schoolchildren. But for Swoon - Connecticut artist Caledonia Curry - leading art-therapy sessions with recovering addicts at Interim House wasn't just public service.