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REAL_ESTATE
July 28, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
David La Fontaine is the new executive director of Community Ventures, a Quaker-inspired builder of affordable housing and one of the few nonprofit developers left in the city. Its latest projects include Ingersoll Commons at 16th and Master Streets, affordable housing with open green space, and Centennial Village, affordable rental apartments behind the Mann Music Center at 52d Street and Parkside Avenue. La Fontaine is pushing for more affordable housing, even as million-dollar homes keep popping up around Center City.
NEWS
July 27, 2014 | By Jessica Parks and Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writers
Built by neighbors in response to racial segregation, the pool at the George Washington Carver Community Center in Norristown had opened every summer since 1960. As the only outdoor public pool in the municipality, it was not just a place for kids to swim, but a point of pride for a struggling community. In recent years, the center has struggled to raise the money to open the pool. This summer, it won't open at all. The closure has become a tipping point, heightening calls for a public-private model or municipal oversight of an institution that has been run by volunteers for six decades.
NEWS
July 26, 2014 | By Vernon Clark, Inquirer Staff Writer
Melvin V. Dorn, 69, a North Philadelphia community advocate and civil rights activist who worked closely with Cecil B. Moore and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., died Monday, July 21, of heart failure at Einstein Medical Center. Mr. Dorn was a stalwart in Philadelphia civil rights efforts, including protests against segregation at Girard College. It was during those protests that Mr. Dorn began working with Moore, the lawyer and civil rights leader. In an interview in January, Mr. Dorn recalled that before he worked with King and Moore, he was a tough teen from North Philadelphia.
NEWS
July 26, 2014 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
Many of us think of food aimed at the elderly as the bland, dated stuff that might show up on an early-bird-special menu: meat loaf and mashed potatoes. So, it may be a bit of a surprise to learn what dinner was like on a recent weeknight at Normandy Farms Estates, a Blue Bell retirement community that is home to more than 500 people. Average age at entry: 80. The menu at the Fireside Grille included marinated salmon on sautéed fresh spinach, topped with sliced peaches; sweet and bitter grilled cheese (three cheeses with Spanish onion marmalade, tomatoes, and baby arugula)
NEWS
July 24, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
EDUCATORS, PARENTS, community groups and universities that have bold ideas to improve a Philadelphia public school now have a vehicle to pitch their plans. The school district yesterday announced the start of the School Redesign Initiative, its latest effort to allow stakeholders to identify, develop and implement their innovative plans at existing schools. The district said the goal is to increase the number of high-quality schools, but many question the rationale behind the plan at a time when schools lack basic resources, such as counselors, full-time nurses and librarians, and the district faces an estimated $93 million deficit, which could require hundreds of layoffs.
NEWS
July 18, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
DEWEN BOWAH's right arm is still bandaged, hiding severe burns from the fatal flames of the Gesner Street fire. She sat last night on the porch of her sister's house in Darby, her voice barely above a whisper - the lingering effects of smoke inhalation. Bowah deferred questions to Milton Musa, the man who caught two of her daughters as they leaped from their burning home July 5. Her youngest girls, twins Maria and Marialla, perished in the terrible inferno. "It's a sad, sad situation," Musa said.
NEWS
July 18, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Culture Writer
Its finances are precarious, the mortgage is in foreclosure. Real estate agents are busily showing its home to potential buyers. A possible savior - Philadelphia's Roberts family - might offer a helping hand, but not yet. As the Philadelphia Theatre Company hangs on by a thread, theater leaders say its loss would be a blow - artistically, and to the city. "It's tragic for them, but also to the entire Philadelphia arts community and the idea of an Avenue of the Arts. You lose something like that and you'll need to take the sign down" on the Avenue of the Arts, said playwright Bruce Graham, who has had two plays produced by PTC. Terrence J. Nolen, the Arden Theatre Company's producing artistic director, said the PTC's abiding interest in American theater has made it a pioneer, and "certainly an important theater here in Philadelphia.
NEWS
July 17, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
South Jersey, with its relative dearth of four-year colleges, appears to have adopted a new venue for delivering bachelor's degrees to residents: community colleges. Following a national trend, professors from universities including Rowan and Rutgers-Camden are increasingly traveling to teach on the county campuses, offering bachelor's programs as part of new partnerships with the two-year schools. After completing an associate's degree, community college students can transfer to a four-year program and complete a university bachelor's degree right where they are. "Some of it has to do with capacity.
NEWS
July 17, 2014 | BY DYLAN SEGELBAUM, Daily News Staff Writer segelbd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5917
TO AFRICAN grocery store owner Musa Kromah, who immigrated to the United States 11 years ago to escape civil war in his native Liberia, Philadelphia is "well-known" back in his home country. In fact, he said, "all Liberians" have family members in the city. Greater Philadelphia has the largest Liberian population of any U.S. metro area, according to a November 2008 report from the Brookings Institute think tank. Recent U.S. Census Bureau five-year estimates put the number of people of Liberian ancestry in Philadelphia at 3,769, though community leaders estimate that the numbers are over 5,000.
NEWS
July 16, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Edwin J. Poplawski, 88, of Springfield, Delaware County, a banker, World War II veteran, and community organizer, died Wednesday, July 9, of lung cancer at Vitas Hospice at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. Mr. Poplawski worked for 23 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and another 23 years at the First Pennsylvania Bank before retiring as an assistant vice president in 1989. As part of his job, Mr. Poplawski created and launched technical designs in the areas of computer automation, advanced security functions, and data integrity and controls.
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