December 19, 2014
ISSUE | CONGRESS Maiden budget effort a bad sign Once again, our supposed leaders brought us to the brink of a government shutdown as another short-term spending plan was about to expire, the members scrambling to put into place another eleventh-hour agreement so that they could begin their lengthy holiday recess ("Congress passes $1.1 trillion bill," Dec. 14). There was no possibility that a clean spending blueprint would be proposed. Rather, we found shenanigans, an unwillingness to fund the Department of Homeland Security for more than a few months, and special-interest poison pills inserted into the legislation that were unrelated to the matter at hand, but provisions that a sufficient number of Democrats were willing to accept.
December 4, 2014 |
Just as Santa Claus was put on trial at Christmastime in the film "Miracle on 34th Street," so too will Philly Jesus be put on trial just days before his namesake's big day. Perhaps the old "In God We Trust" defense will work this time too. Philly Jesus, whose real name is Michael Grant, was at the Criminal Justice Center yesterday for a status hearing on two charges against him - disorderly conduct and failure to disperse. In front of a packed courtroom, Grant, 28, dressed in his trademark white robe, pleaded not guilty to both charges and was scheduled for trial on Dec. 15. Grant turned many heads as he entered the courthouse on Filbert Street near 13th dressed as Jesus and carrying his trademark wooden staff.
November 29, 2014 |
The McBride family from Northeast Philadelphia started their Christmas season with a trip to Christmas Village on Thanksgiving Day. By 5:30 p.m., Dylan, 6, and Danny, 3 - both of whom are on Santa's "nice" list - were with their parents in the Macy's lobby on Juniper Street, waiting for the store to open. "Since we were here walking around, we figured we'd wait since the opening was at 6," said Robert McBride, the boys' father. Their mother, Jamie, had the day off for the first time in years.
January 4, 2014
After workers finish tearing down Christmas Village at LOVE Park, the plaza will return to its dowdy appearance, dominated by gray granite slabs and intermittent encampments of the homeless. To the northwest lies the splendid Benjamin Franklin Parkway, with its museums, generous setbacks, and streams of runners and cyclists. The boulevard offers a stark contrast with the drab plaza, especially on a cold winter's day. How long that gulf in appearances between the two settings lasts may be up to Council President Darrell Clarke, who these days seems to cast every decision as part of some power struggle with Mayor Nutter - which is interesting because although Clarke may run for mayor, it won't be against Nutter, who is in his final term.
December 14, 2013 |
Less than two weeks before Christmas, Philadelphia is up for sale. School buildings. Roadside views. City parks. Pretty soon, we could be auctioning off naming rights to the years, like they do in David Foster Wallace's dystopian novel, Infinite Jest . How does "Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment" sound? Unfortunately, the reality in what we are still calling 2013 is that tax revenue isn't nearly enough to pay the bills, and Philadelphia is under increasing pressure to come up with clever ways to fund services.
December 4, 2012
TWO THINGS happen to City Councilman Bobby Henon as he makes his way through the crowd at Mayfair's first-ever Christmas Village at Frankford and Cottman avenues on Sunday. Revelers see him approaching and greet him with a 'Bobby,' or a 'Hey, Bobby,' or, if they're a little older, a 'Councilman.' Then they want to talk about methadone. "Are you going to the meeting?" a community organizer asks him. "Make you sure you tell him about the methadone clinic," another urges Henon when they see a Daily News reporter following him. There's a hearing Wednesday at City Hall about a proposed methadone clinic less than a mile from all the festivities.
December 2, 2012
Dirty ex-Senate leader gets 16-mo. sentence Robert Mellow, a former leader of Pennsylvania's Senate Democrats whose portrait hangs in the state Capitol, was sentenced Friday to 16 months in prison on public-corruption charges. U.S. District Judge Joel Slomsky ordered Mellow, who pleaded guilty in May to a federal conspiracy charge, to pay nearly $80,000 in restitution to the state Senate and a $40,000 fine to the federal government. Mellow has already paid $31,000 in restitution for filing a bogus tax return.
November 26, 2012 |
To an unknowing patron, the Christmas Village in LOVE Park may seem no different from a flea market with a holiday twist. But to the large population of German Americans in the Philadelphia area, the village is an homage to a German Christmas tradition that goes back to the Middle Ages. The renowned Nuremberg Christkindlmarkt served as inspiration for Philadelphia's Christmas Village, which this year features more than 60 vendors selling holiday gifts from the United States and abroad.
November 25, 2012 |
Saturday marked the seasonal grand opening of the Christmas Village, located in the heart of Love Park. The outdoor village consists of over 60 vendors selling holiday gifts and treats from both the United States and Europe. The village, now in its fifth year in Philadelphia, is inspired by a similar tradition held in Germany that began as early as the Middle Ages. On hand to kick off the Christmas celebration were representatives from German American Marketing, Inc. and One Main Financial, the village's main sponsors.