August 28, 2014 |
The beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs depicted dissatisfied veterans as Oscar the Grouch in a recent internal training guide, and some vets and VA staffers said Tuesday that they feel trashed. The cranky Sesame Street character who lives in a garbage can was used in reference to veterans who will attend town-hall events Wednesday in Philadelphia. "There is no time or place to make light of the current crisis that the VA is in," said Joe Davis, a national spokesman for the VFW. "And especially to insult the VA's primary customer.
August 15, 2014
I FIRST HEARD about Robin Williams' death when I was standing in line at my mother's viewing and a friend's BlackBerry dinged with the news alert from CNN. It was a surreal, if brief, moment. Not to be insensitive, but while I always liked Mindy's Mork and all the other incarnations of this gifted actor, the death of a stranger was exponentially less important than my personal grief. Still, when I heard it was a suicide, my fleeting first thought was that my mother had fought so valiantly to cling to something Williams had just thrown away.
July 14, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - In his first post-primary television ad, a stern Gov. Corbett tells would-be supporters that he "did not come to Harrisburg to make friends. " On Thursday, he boldfaced that point. After pushing the 10-day deadline to take action on the legislature-approved state budget to the bitter end, Corbett came out swinging, accusing legislators of failing to act on the pension crisis and instead filling their own coffers with money for pet projects. Behind closed doors he signed the $29 billion spending plan, but not before wielding his blue pen to do something no governor in at least the last 20 years dared to do - by line-item veto slashing $65 million in funding to run Senate and House operations.
July 12, 2014 |
A U.S. Justice Department team listened for nearly two hours Thursday evening as angry Philadelphians lashed out at the Police Department for what they called a long history of unjustified shootings of young black males by white officers. At turns screaming, crying, or simply glaring straight ahead, a series of residents, most of them African American, including several mothers who said their sons had been unjustly shot by police, approached a microphone in City Council chambers and spoke of their pain.
July 9, 2014 |
A COMBUSTIBLE mixture of anger and grief nearly boiled over on a Southwest Philadelphia street corner in the summer heat last night in a tense standoff between a long, blue line of cops and roughly 200 residents protesting what they claimed was a slow response to Saturday's fire that killed four children on Gesner Street. The confrontation - first outside a fire station on 65th Street near Woodland Avenue and later on the narrow rowhouse street where eight homes were destroyed, and where the acrid stench of smoke still hung heavy - led to at least two arrests, as witnesses said some protesters tossed water bottles while the crowd chanted, "We want answers!"
June 27, 2014 |
IN "PINEAPPLE EXPRESS," Seth Rogen and James Franco angered a nasty drug lord and a corrupt policeman. With their upcoming movie "The Interview," due in October, they've ticked off Kim Jong Un . North Korea is warning that the release of the comedy about a plot to kill the country's dictator would be an "act of war. " If the U.S. government doesn't block the movie's release, it will face "stern" and "merciless" retaliation, an...
June 13, 2014 |
The Lower Merion School District's plan to create a school bus parking lot on Bala Avenue in Bala Cynwyd has some residents steaming. More than 100 people filled Lower Merion Academy, a historic house next to Bala Cynwyd Middle School, on Tuesday for a meeting of the Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd. Doug Young, the school district's director of community relations, knew what was coming. So township commissioners in attendance told the crowd to save the pitchforks for the district's elected officials, who were at Harriton High School's graduation.
June 13, 2014 |
It was Memorial Day weekend of 2013, and Michael Bowman, president and chief executive of Valley Forge Casino Resort, was frustrated by recent episodes of less-than-stellar customer service at the King of Prussia casino. In a bout of now obviously overzealous customer service, Bowman helped two young women who were hotel guests and banquet attendees gain access to the casino floor, even waving them through when a security guard held them up to check if they were old enough. Then Bowman left to take a few days off. Bad moves.
June 10, 2014 |
A short list of references that date Eric Bogosian's 1990 Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll includes Phil Donahue, Dan Quayle, NutraSweet, famine in Ethiopia, and talk of microwave ovens as something new. Only the mention of Vanna White retains any cultural currency. And yet Plays and Players' fun, engaging production uses the 80-minute piece as a continuing indictment of consumerism and hypocrisy that dates the work in a much different fashion. Bogosian's hyper-masculine one-man show originally contained 15 male characters.
June 3, 2014 |
The Avon Grove School District plans to outsource its 26 custodian jobs next school year as part of a cost-saving plan, and longtime workers who will lose pensions and some benefits - and maybe their jobs - are angry. Within the next 15 years, most school districts facing tightening budgets are likely to outsource services that do not directly educate students, said Joseph O'Brien, executive director of the Chester County Intermediate Unit, which serves Chester County's 12 school districts and is brokering Avon Grove's outsourcing.