August 16, 2016
By Seymour I. "Spence" Toll During summers at our house on the coast of Maine, I occasionally drift into thinking about something thematic in my life, and this summer that turned out to be gratitude. For me, this gratitude has a double life. The first is from my 1925 birth until Dec. 15, 1944. The second is from Dec. 16, 1944, until the current moment of this, my 91st year. That initial span of gratitude is rooted in my ever-loving family of great-hearted parents, an older brother and two younger sisters, and so much of value they contributed to my growth every day of that life.
August 16, 2016 |
As a Philadelphia firefighter, Steven Mesete often is required to spring into action at a moment's notice, abruptly sending his heart into rat-a-tat mode. "You can be sitting still, and then running at 100 miles an hour," he said. One day last week, Mesete ramped up his cardiovascular system in a much more controlled fashion, walking on a treadmill with wires stuck to his chest and a cardiologist standing nearby. The 41-year-old firefighter with Engine 49 in South Philadelphia was among the first in the 2,200-member department to undergo what is now a mandatory physical exam every two years.
July 14, 2016 |
A jumble of emotions tugged at Luis Lopez on Tuesday after he was handed keys to a new condominium in Mount Holly Gardens, a neighborhood at the center of a decadelong housing discrimination battle that ended shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court was to hear the case. Lopez and about 40 neighbors, mostly Hispanic and African American, had sued Mount Holly Township after local officials announced plans to demolish the whole neighborhood and redevelop it with market-rate homes the residents could not afford.
July 12, 2016 |
For 34 years, home for Daniel Peters has been a prison cell. He has been locked up since age 17, with the promise of life in prison. But on June 24, he was released to a halfway house in Philadelphia's Callowhill neighborhood. It was terrifying, but at least he knew just what to expect. He had been given a tour of the facility - using virtual reality goggles. Peters - the first to be released of 295 inmates from Philadelphia sentenced as juveniles to life without parole under a law the Supreme Court has since found unconstitutional - is a test case in an unprecedented reentry challenge for the city.
July 6, 2016 |
When Kathleen DeMasi saddled her first horse in 1984 and entered it into a race, her life as a trainer was just beginning. The Maryland native had just gotten her training license. Once the gates opened at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Pa., the horse, Maryland National, flew by the others and took first place. "I did not think that horse was going to win," said DeMasi, now 53, laughing. "It was pretty exciting. She was a real challenge to get to the races, too. I had to work really hard and think outside of the box. " Now, 8,973 starts and 1,188 wins later, the Mullica Hill resident will be inducted into the Bensalem-based Parx Racing Hall of Fame as an accomplished trainer in September along with four horse-racing colleagues and one horse.
June 24, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - A Senate committee is preparing to strip out the most contentious aspect of a bill that would expand the ability of child sex-abuse victims to sue for decades-old attacks, according to two legislative sources familiar with the move. The Republicans who control the Judiciary Committee could as soon as this week remove the provision that would apply the law retroactively, said the sources, who said they were not authorized to publicly discuss the plan. Hailed by victims' advocates, the language would have opened the door to a wave of lawsuits for child-sex abuse that occurred as far back as the 1970s.
June 20, 2016 |
In this sour campaign season, where the immigration issue has turned so ugly, it's instructive to watch the European debate over migrants. That debate should make Americans realize how lucky we are. As an immigration country, we have a proven ability to absorb newcomers, including those from Muslim countries. (And we could resolve the problem of illegals from south of the border if both parties cooperated.) Europe, on the other hand, has failed to integrate generations of Muslim guest workers, many of whom still live in ghettos and are preyed on by radical Islamists.
June 16, 2016 |
Arthur Johnson has used neither a cellphone nor the internet. He's never voted, married, or had children. It was long after the funerals of his father, two brothers, and the grandmother who helped raise him that he even learned of their deaths. For nearly 37 years, he has dined alone. "Beyond the necessary contact with prison staff, I have not touched another human since 1979," Johnson said in a declaration that is part of his federal lawsuit against John Wetzel, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections secretary, and five other DOC officials.
June 6, 2016 |
On a summer night in 1955, Carmine Calzonetti walked around the corner from his family's home on Washington Terrace in Audubon to the baseball field next to the basketball courts and across the street from the high school. He wanted to see this pitcher from Delaware Township Little League. "I knew his name," Calzonetti said. "He was in the paper all the time for throwing no-hitters. " The pitcher was Billy Hunter. Later that summer, he would lead Delaware Township, which soon would be renamed Cherry Hill, to the first of two consecutive appearances in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. Flash forward 61 years.
May 12, 2016 |
Built during the Depression to make a grand statement, the historic Landis Theater is again at the centerpiece of a plan to rebuild downtown Vineland, N.J. Under a partnership announced Tuesday, the Landis will be the new Cumberland County base for the Bay Atlantic Symphony. Beginning with the 2016-17 season, the orchestra will bring its subscription concert series to the landmark theater. "We think we will bring in some of the most beautiful music in the world," said Paul Herron, executive director of the Bay Atlantic Symphony.