April 15, 2015 |
THE MESSAGE arrived in the inbox of Flyers season ticketholders at 6:02 a.m. yesterday. The subject: "A message from Ron Hextall. " Inside was a link to a video on the team's website - an attempt to use their house media organ to control the message delivered to fans. Hextall, tasked with an arduous rebuild for a team that missed the Stanley Cup playoffs twice in three seasons, wanted fans to know he is not straying from the patient course he set out along last May - despite what chairman Ed Snider said in an interview in the March 25 edition of the Daily News.
February 8, 2015 |
During a brief discussion before his Annenberg Center performance on Thursday, Branford Marsalis offered a simple formula for the music he prefers: "If I can sing it, it's good; if I can't sing it, I reject it. " Dogmatic pronouncements on music seem to come with the Marsalis name, but where younger brother Wynton is the jazz fundamentalist, saxophonist Branford likes to play the cranky provocateur. That's epitomized in the title of his quartet's most recent release, Four MFs Playin' Tunes , which seems to promise un-selfconscious musicianship with a dose of puckish attitude.
January 8, 2015
GOOGLE a few terms - like "cheesesteak" or "Rocky" - and you'll get few references outside Philadelphia. The same holds true if you search for "councilmanic prerogative" or "councilmanic privilege" - the practice that gives elected lawmakers supreme power over development in their fiefdoms, er, districts. Other cities around the country have city councils, but privilege appears to be a strictly Philly thing. Council prerogative is not codified in the city charter, but in use nonetheless.
August 13, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA Schools Superintendent William Hite got another promise yesterday that state lawmakers would continue to push for cigarette-tax approval to help fund the district, but he said a Friday deadline to decide whether to shorten the school year or make massive layoffs still looms. Hite met privately with state House Majority Leader Mike Turzai at the district's headquarters for about an hour yesterday afternoon. After the meeting, Hite said Turzai assured him that the House would work to pass "a clean bill," but that it did not change the district's grim reality - an $81 million shortfall.
March 29, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA The Philadelphia School District is forecasting a budget of $2.8 billion next year - a figure that is up from this year's $2.4 billion outlay, but calls for $440 million in new money that the district is not assured of getting from the city or the state. Still, the budget would provide only what Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. called the basics for school reform. Acknowledging there were some risks involved in its forecasting, the School Reform Commission on Thursday night adopted a "lump sum" budget statement that projects slightly better conditions in city classrooms for 2014-15.
March 23, 2014 |
Is the Philadelphia Orchestra's audience being trained to respond to the dog whistle it sees, rather than the one it hears? Playing with movie scores, ballet dancers, even acrobats, the orchestra is increasingly sending the message that its core business - sound, right? - is no longer enough by itself. It announced Thursday that "stunning video images" will be added to next week's Britten program. Has the orchestra forgotten how to market an orchestra? You have to wonder, given concerts like Thursday night's, when a program as wholesome as Mozart and Brahms produced hundreds of empty seats in Verizon Hall.
March 7, 2014 |
With more than half of the Delaware River navigation channel now at or deeper than 45 feet, the dredging project that began in March 2010 is on target for completion in 2017. President Obama has proposed $35 million for the deepening of the Delaware in his 2015 fiscal year budget. About $20 million in federal money this year will be spent to deepen, from 40 to 45 feet, a stretch between the Ben Franklin and Walt Whitman Bridges and the southernmost 15 miles in the lower Delaware Bay. The lower channel contains sand, which will be used to build dunes and storm-damage protection at Broadkill Beach, said Ed Voigt, public affairs chief for the Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District.
February 19, 2014 |
Only 20 years ago, La Traviata was nearly unperformable due to a lack of true Verdi sopranos able to meet the vocal and dramatic demands of the central role. Now, a typical night at, say, the Latvian State Opera has a vocally capable, dramatic adept Violetta. And the way the Academy of Vocal Arts turns out Italianate singers, the rosy fortunes of Verdi's most durable opera won't change anytime soon. The new production that opened Saturday had a consistently mighty cast that sometimes seemed on the verge of breaking down the walls of the tiny Helen Corning Warden Theater.
January 21, 2014
UNIONDALE, N.Y. - During his 1,054-game career, Craig Berube didn't take many days off. If there was an optional practice, Berube was likely on the ice. "That's because I didn't play a lot," Berube said with a smile. "I needed to work on my game. " Now, walking the tightrope between practice and rest for his players is one of the toughest challenges Berube has faced in his 3-month run as a head coach. The Flyers will play three games in 4 nights this week for the second week in a row. They are in the midst of a gauntlet of 15 games in 29 days in January, with two separate West Coast trips serving as bookends.