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Big Idea

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NEWS
July 11, 2006 | MARK ALAN HUGHES
WHAT'S THE big theme for the 2007 mayor's race? Whenever I try to come up with one, it turns into a list of important but (let's face it) tired issues: crime and taxes and schools and so on. Those issues matter, but we need a theme to organize our priorities and hold our attention. Eight years ago, I argued that depopulation and its consequences was the big theme for whoever succeeded Ed Rendell. The defining fact of Philadelphia then was this: A city of less than 1.5 million residents can't sustain the infrastructure of a city built for more than 2 million.
NEWS
April 28, 2009 | By KELLIE PATRICK GATES
What it means, and why it's a good thing:   We used to call it "regionalism. " But, these days, that word comes with baggage: While some make it their life's work (like the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission), others dismiss it as a goal, and many are just tired of hearing the word. But in a new age of energy and sustainability and the need to "silo-bust," the idea that communities can achieve more by working together than by acting like islands has never been more relevant.
BUSINESS
December 29, 1991 | By Marian Uhlman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Here's the problem. You're a biotechnology firm with a great idea you know could make you rich. But you need cash to bring it to market. So you find yourself a partner with deep pockets to foot the bill. Almost as fast as you can say abracadabra your great idea now belongs largely to your well-endowed colleague. And wealth may elude you yet again. This is the dilemma young biotechnology firms face all the time. They risk reaping the full value of their ideas by seeking alliances with larger pharmaceutical or chemical companies that have money and time to invest.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2015 | Gary Thompson, Movie Critic
Writer-director Adam McKay ("Anchorman") stopped in town recently to talk about his foray into serious filmmaking - "The Big Short," adapted from Michael Lewis' book about the housing bubble and the 2008 meltdown. He chatted with movie critic Gary Thompson about the movie, based on the true story of against-the-grain investors (Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt) who saw the bubble forming, and found a way to profit when it popped. _______________________ The roots of the meltdown are notoriously complex, but your movie goes fearlessly, and cleverly, into the financial nitty-gritty.
BUSINESS
May 11, 2003 | By Don Steinberg INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
CN8, the regional TV channel carried only on Comcast Corp. cable systems, looks as if it's about to become something. The question is, what? Tomorrow, the locally produced channel makes a huge growth spurt, going live on cable systems that serve 2.2 million homes from Maine to Connecticut, many of which Comcast absorbed in its acquisition of AT&T Broadband. Breaking out beyond the Mid-Atlantic region for the first time, CN8's mix of public affairs and local sports will extend to a total of 6.2 million homes.
NEWS
March 7, 2001 | by Leon Taylor Daily News Staff Writer
For Laurada Byers, life goes on. It has to, if the life of her slain husband and Daily News columnist W. Russell G. Byers is to have lasting meaning. "I'm not so much into observing his death as I am celebrating his life," she said. "His life is the thing that was most important. " So, last year she marked the first anniversary of her soulmate's senseless Dec. 4, 1999, stabbing death, with a family outing to two of their favorite places - Longwood Gardens and the nearby Hank's Restaurant.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 11, 2016 | By Peter Dobrin, Music Critic
The effect of several centuries of collective ear-training in Western music has led us to expect a certain journey in sound: The basic idea is stated. It gets explored. It returns. But what happens when the composer's assignment is to write a piece only three or four minutes long? How much development is desired, or even possible? It was perhaps not a question explicitly put to composers contributing to the Brass Project this past weekend. But two one-hour-long afternoon concerts Saturday and Sunday at the Philadelphia Art Alliance answered nonetheless - in turns tersely, monotonously, sweetly.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 30, 2015 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
Once a year for the last decade, the city's designers and architects have come together for a weeklong festival of films, tours, open studios, talks, exhibitions, and art installations called DesignPhiladelphia. More or less synonymous with that festival is Hilary Jay, who cofounded it while running the Design Center at Philadelphia University and who managed it through moves to the University of the Arts and the AIA Philadelphia's Center for Architecture, where it's now based. Recently, Jay, of Washington Square, left her job as director of the Center for Architecture and of DesignPhiladelphia.
NEWS
August 20, 2013
IT'S HARD FOR ME to not like Ross Brightwell - part dreamer, part engaged citizen, part pain in the ass. The thing about Brightwell - his snowy hair and beard give him the appearance of a happy elf - is that he's not a pain in the ass on his own behalf. The Pittsburgh native is in love with his adopted Philadelphia and his belief that it can be so much better than it is. Decades ago, Pittsburgh, led by someone named King Mellon, decided its future did not lie with smokestack industries that provided wealth but also provided unbreathable air. Over time, Pittsburgh got clean and reinvented itself.
NEWS
June 26, 2008 | By Becky Batcha, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
The big idea: Goes by the name "One Citi. " It's a year-old initiative to coordinate Citibank, Citi Cards, Smith Barney, and other affiliated business units in three targeted metro areas: Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago. But don't look for a One Citi logo on storefronts and ATMs. "One Citi isn't a brand," Brown said. "It's sort of an internal moniker for how we deliver the company to our clients. " The goal is to leverage regional strengths - in Philadelphia, the venerable Smith Barney franchise, which was founded here, is one - and make certain that every customer who has a Citi Card (more than one million regionally)
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ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
May 11, 2016 | By Peter Dobrin, Music Critic
The effect of several centuries of collective ear-training in Western music has led us to expect a certain journey in sound: The basic idea is stated. It gets explored. It returns. But what happens when the composer's assignment is to write a piece only three or four minutes long? How much development is desired, or even possible? It was perhaps not a question explicitly put to composers contributing to the Brass Project this past weekend. But two one-hour-long afternoon concerts Saturday and Sunday at the Philadelphia Art Alliance answered nonetheless - in turns tersely, monotonously, sweetly.
NEWS
March 4, 2016
YOU CAN'T accuse Mayor Kenney of thinking small. In his first budget address to City Council, the mayor said that what the city needed were "serious, radical, ambitious policies. " And he delivered lots of them. The two likely to get mentioned the most are Kenney's call for the city to spend $60 million a year in providing slots for quality pre-K, at about $8,500 per child. It would, for the first time, put the city in the business of providing subsidies for early childhood education, supplementing the $237 million in annual subsidies now given to poor parents by the state and federal government.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2016 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
Last month, playwright Tom Stoppard, author of The Hard Problem , and David Chalmers, the philosopher who coined the titular phrase, appeared on the Wilma Theater stage to discuss, muse upon, and debate the nature of consciousness. What, Stoppard wondered aloud, is the connection between consciousness and value, "undemonstrable, undefinable, but necessary value"? Chalmers quipped that "consciousness is that annoying time between naps. " That heady night was followed by another heady night, the opening of The Hard Problem , directed by Blanka Zizka, one of Stoppard's foremost interpreters.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2015 | Gary Thompson, Movie Critic
Writer-director Adam McKay ("Anchorman") stopped in town recently to talk about his foray into serious filmmaking - "The Big Short," adapted from Michael Lewis' book about the housing bubble and the 2008 meltdown. He chatted with movie critic Gary Thompson about the movie, based on the true story of against-the-grain investors (Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt) who saw the bubble forming, and found a way to profit when it popped. _______________________ The roots of the meltdown are notoriously complex, but your movie goes fearlessly, and cleverly, into the financial nitty-gritty.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 30, 2015 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
Once a year for the last decade, the city's designers and architects have come together for a weeklong festival of films, tours, open studios, talks, exhibitions, and art installations called DesignPhiladelphia. More or less synonymous with that festival is Hilary Jay, who cofounded it while running the Design Center at Philadelphia University and who managed it through moves to the University of the Arts and the AIA Philadelphia's Center for Architecture, where it's now based. Recently, Jay, of Washington Square, left her job as director of the Center for Architecture and of DesignPhiladelphia.
NEWS
March 5, 2015
GOV. WOLF'S plans for Pennsylvania are a little like plans for a one-way trip to Mars. Not everybody's ready to sign up. Bold? Sure. Forward-looking? You bet. But like that Mars-or-bust business, pretty expensive, extremely ambitious and unlikely to fly. This is not to say Democrat Wolf's big ideas are bad: Cut the wage tax, cut property taxes, raise the minimum wage, cut business taxes and freeze tuition at state universities. And surely these plans meet Democrat Wolf's favorite self-describing adjective: "different.
REAL_ESTATE
March 2, 2015 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nora Lichtash has lived in Germantown for more than 40 years. Now she is pitching a development project there for affordable housing that would allow renters to convert their units into equity and home ownership. Lichtash's vehicle is a nonprofit known as the Women's Community Revitalization Project (WCRP). WCRP has operated in Philadelphia since 1987, and Lichtash has been director since 1990. In that time, the nonprofit has developed 250 affordable townhouses and apartments in all five counties of the region, investing about $4 million to date.
NEWS
January 26, 2014 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
Imagine the universe as a snow globe - you know, one of those round glass paperweights you turn upside down and it snows. Within this snow globe is a little house and a little tree and two women who are stuck inside, trying to figure out what they're doing there. This is the premise of Snowglobe , a new play by Nicholas Wardigo at the Shubin Theatre. If you're going to premiere a whimsical one-act meditation on whether it is possible to prove the existence of God, you can't do better than to have Charlotte Northeast and Amanda Schoonover play Ingrid and Sonja, the two women.
NEWS
August 20, 2013
IT'S HARD FOR ME to not like Ross Brightwell - part dreamer, part engaged citizen, part pain in the ass. The thing about Brightwell - his snowy hair and beard give him the appearance of a happy elf - is that he's not a pain in the ass on his own behalf. The Pittsburgh native is in love with his adopted Philadelphia and his belief that it can be so much better than it is. Decades ago, Pittsburgh, led by someone named King Mellon, decided its future did not lie with smokestack industries that provided wealth but also provided unbreathable air. Over time, Pittsburgh got clean and reinvented itself.
NEWS
August 5, 2013 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - To Cory Booker, urban poverty isn't just a challenge to address as mayor of Newark. It's a national scourge eroding fundamental principles of equality. Disparities in public schools don't just need fixing, they represent "American apartheid. " But ask Rep. Frank Pallone about those issues, and he will talk about the "sequester" budget cuts and details of the No Child Left Behind law. Rush Holt, a fellow congressman, is likely to stress his views as a scientist and teacher, as he has in a series of self-described "Geek Out" Web videos featuring professorial breakdowns of climate change and Wall Street trading.
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