September 29, 2015 |
When Pope Francis spoke about joy this weekend, he probably wasn't thinking about the ecstasy that comes from being able to stroll down the center of Walnut Street without a car at your back. Or the rapture of skateboarding the wrong way on Pine Street. Or the bliss of biking 20 abreast on Broad Street. Or the pure, giddy fun of playing touch football in front of the Convention Center on Arch Street. The unprecedented shutdown of the five-square-mile heart of Philadelphia was driven by the need for security (or rather, the perceived need for security)
September 28, 2015 |
Twice in its first three games this season, Temple's football team was on the brink of losing or going into overtime after holding a late lead. And twice the Owls were able to prevail, an about-face from last year, when Temple didn't fare well in close games. So what has happened to make the Owls 3-0? How have they overcome late-game adversity in their last two road games? Just a year ago, the Owls were 1-3 in games decided by eight points or fewer. They are 2-0 in such games, with a 34-26 win at Cincinnati and last Saturday's improbable, 25-23 comeback win at Massachusetts.
September 28, 2015 |
The 365 voices from parishes in Newark, Elizabeth, and Linden, N.J., were triumphant as they marched across the Ben Franklin Bridge on Saturday, eager to arrive for the papal festivities. "Glory! Glory! Glory!" the group sang, accompanied by guitars and drums, as the crowds parted to let them pass. The 1.8-mile span was like a fall block party - thousands of joggers, in-line skaters, cyclists, dog walkers, and families pushing strollers - and then there were the faithful headed to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia.
September 25, 2015 |
ABOUT 25 anti-abortion activists rallied outside a Center City Planned Parenthood yesterday morning to help kick off a national "40 Days for Life" blitz of anti-abortion protests. It went the way most anti-abortion protests go: with pamphleteering anti-abortion activists praying, singing and exhorting passing patients to "Change your mind! Keep your baby!" while those women, ushered inside by volunteer escorts, reacted with tears, middle fingers or averted eyes. But it was unusual in that organizers hoped it would be the flame to ignite an explosive anti-abortion fervor in the thousands of Catholic faithful coming to town this week for the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis' visit.
September 21, 2015 |
When George Carlin debuted his brilliant "football vs. baseball" routine in the fall of 1975, its subtext was clear and timely. Football - complex, authoritarian, aggressive, militaristic - represented the establishment. Baseball - relaxed, pastoral, and with grass at its base - was a perfect stand-in for the counterculture. That contrast was best portrayed in what was perhaps its most familiar passage: "In football, the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun.
September 19, 2015 |
As shelves empty in Pathmark and Super Fresh supermarkets that are closing, some employees are clinging to a lifeboat that may save their jobs, but cost others theirs. And others are just out of luck. Why are some cast adrift and others afloat? It has to do with a union history that is as convoluted as the structure of the stores' bankrupt parent company, A&P, formally known as the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. As A&P bought up chains over the years, unions that represented those workers came along, each with different contract provisions for bumping.
September 18, 2015 |
TWO WEEKS AGO, Sam Elliott, the director of racing at Parx, got a text from Bob Baffert saying "get ready. " Before he began to hyperventilate, Elliott read the rest of the message and then called Baffert. It would really help, Baffert said, if the Pennsylvania Derby could be moved to Sept. 26. In any other year, the Pa. Derby probably would have been scheduled for Sept. 26 anyway. This was not any year, not with Pope Francis coming to town that day. Imagine. The Triple Crown winner this Saturday, the pope next Saturday.
September 18, 2015 |
WHEN POPE FRANCIS is in town next weekend, all eyes will be on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Some attendees will watch the big guy on Jumbotrons. Others will crane their necks in vain to see him in the flesh. All of them will be carefully monitored by a group of law-enforcement officials hunkered down in a nerve center in South Philly. Yesterday, Inspector Walter Smith gave a guided tour of the Police Department's Real Time Crime Center, a state-of-the-art hub that compiles video feeds, map data and other information from across the city and beyond.
September 17, 2015 |
Philadelphia might soon be able to answer the question: What if you have a million people visit but nobody can get in? Some might think the question relates to the city in general during next week's visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia. But it specifically applies to at least a half-dozen exhibitions - largely of the "treasures" variety and specifically inspired by the papal visit and the World Meeting of Families - that will be on view for the million-plus visitors city officials are expecting.
September 14, 2015 |
In March, I wrote about Pitman investor Harry Armstrong, who had closed on his latest property purchase by email. It was a first for Armstrong and was considered unusual by a couple of veteran and computer-savvy real estate agents, but it was common for the North Jersey-based title company involved, which works a lot with Freddie Mac selling HUD-foreclosed properties. What I learned later is that the watchdog Consumer Financial Protection Bureau considers these "eClosings" of great benefit to consumers.