June 7, 2011 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - A NATO service member was killed yesterday in southern Afghanistan, where violence is increasing as the poppy harvest ends and the Taliban turns opium profits into payments for fighters. In the southern province of Helmand, the world's leading opium producer and the Taliban's profit center, NATO officials say insurgents are regrouping and fighting to retake key cities and towns they lost during clearing operations by U.S. Marines during the past year. In Sangin, where nearly a third of all British Afghan war casualties have taken place, Taliban insurgent commanders have retrenched and are answering U.S. Marines' latest offensives with stiff resistance.
May 27, 2011 |
Many people assume the nation's prolonged recession means that nothing much is getting built in Philadelphia. That's because they're looking up instead of looking down. Today, the real action is on the ground, and Philadelphia is enjoying a bumper crop of new parks. Since opening two weeks ago, the Race Street Pier, the scenester hangout on the Delaware, has monopolized most of the attention, but at least four more designer parks are set to open before the year is out. Several existing oases - from the hole-in-the-wall Chestnut Street Park to sprawling Hunting Park - also are in various states of refurbishment.
May 17, 2011
There is a scramble for farmland globally, and it turns out it is not just to grow food. Investors are discovering returns on farming land that rival those of the U.S. stock market. Some Wall Street luminaries have long been fans of farmland as part of an investment portfolio. Why? The Standard & Poor's 500-benchmark index's average annual return was 11.8 percent between 1950-2008, while the return on farmland with capital appreciation and current yield was 11.6 percent. "But the volatility of the S&P is about double that of farmland," notes Shonda Warner, manager of Chess Ag Full Harvest Partners L.L.C.
February 27, 2011 |
When Pat McCargo graduated from Cherry Hill High School West in 1965, fewer than 1,000 African Americans lived in the township. McCargo was among only six black students to receive diplomas from the school that year. In a trend playing out in many of South Jersey's older, established suburbs, McCargo, a lifelong Cherry Hill resident who has had four daughters graduate from her alma mater, finds herself living in a far more diverse community these days. Minorities made up 25 percent of Cherry Hill's 2010 population, compared with 17 percent a decade earlier, according to recently released U.S. Census figures.
October 28, 2010 |
Residents refer to the south-central region of Florida that incorporates Pahokee and Belle Glade as "the Muck," which describes the dark, moist soil that is well-suited for growing sugar cane. But the Muck - a desperately poor area where the per-capita income is about $13,000, and the unemployment rate hovers at 40 percent - grows something besides sugar. It grows very good football players, an inordinately high number of them. Pahokee High and Glades Central High, schools located 12 miles apart on the shores of Lake Okeechobee, have a combined enrollment of about 1,700, yet in 2009 they accounted for an astounding 42 players on the rosters of Football Bowl Subdivision teams.
October 20, 2010
By Tim Rutten Though the actual voting is still two weeks away, it seems clear that this midterm election cycle will be defined by a surprising presence and a remarkable absence. The presence, of course, is the tea-party movement, and what's absent are the social issues that so bitterly divided the electorate in recent campaigns. Demography and evolving public opinion are well on the way to making an electoral dead letter of same-sex marriage, which played a pivotal role in the 2004 presidential campaign.
October 15, 2010 |
Any given Sunday! Three little words that strike fear into the heart of gamblers everywhere. Take last Sunday. Please, take last Sunday! The Cardinals beat the Super Bowl champion Saints; the wretched Raiders beat the Chargers; and the smoke-and-mirror Redskins came from behind to beat the Packers. All of them home underdogs. Is this the week the cream comes to the top? What if there is no cream in the NFL? Too many questions, not enough answers. Let's go with $20 on the Saints minus 5 1/2, the Jets minus 3 1/2, the Colts minus 3 1/2 and the Titans minus 3 1/2. Then $30 on a teaser: Chargers minus 4 1/2, Giants minus 4 1/2, Jets plus 2 1/2, Colts plus 2 1/2 and Titans plus 2 1/2. Risking $40 on a super-teaser: Chargers plus- 1/2, Saints plus 4 1/2, Giants minus 1 1/2, Steelers minus 3 1/2, Jets plus 6 1/2, Colts plus 6 1/2, Titans plus 6 1/2. Last week: wagered $90, lost $90. Bankroll: $620.
October 9, 2010 |
The Philadelphia Police Department has had an utterly miserable year. This isn't news to anyone who has followed the headlines, each one more shocking than the one before - one cop caught robbing a drug dealer, another cop charged with killing a relative, and another busted for stealing from a bar. It's enough to make you forget that there are a lot of good officers out there who joined the force because they wanted to do some good in...
September 17, 2010 |
BOISE, Idaho - Part science and part sculpture, Bob Crum's fruit trees look like delicate relatives of their cousins in nearby orchards. That's intentional. "I've tinkered with this for a long time," he said of his espaliers. "The thing about espalier is it's a work in progress. You can make your own shape. All it takes is time. " Espalier is a method of training trees to grow in two dimensions in an ornamental design, often against a wall, but the trees also can be attached to freestanding trellises, such as Crum's.
September 4, 2010 |
If a summer tournament in Las Vegas is any indication, this should be a fruitful freshman class in high school boys' basketball. A group of mostly incoming freshmen competed for Team Speed-Unleashed Energy from Cherry Hill, which captured the 14-and-under Swoosh World Championship in July. The winners played in the Gold Division, the highest caliber of competition. "This capped off an incredible year," coach Bob DePersia said. The only two players on the team who won't be entering high school are the coach's sons, twins Robbie and Nicky DePersia.