May 16, 2013 |
Please Touch Museum president and CEO Laura Foster is stepping down. Foster, leader of the museum for five years, said Tuesday that it was a good time for her to move on. "I want to do some new things," she said. "I want to spend time with my new grandchild. Twenty-two years is a long time," she said, referring to her tenure at the museum, where she initially served as director of development and marketing. Foster said she was not sure what her next career move would be. Her contract is up in November.
May 15, 2013
Pa. must step up on city schools The city schools' financial troubles are not new, yet reactions to the School District's latest request for aid - $60 million more from the city, $120 million from the state - were met with surprise. While I expected an emergency funding request, I did not anticipate - and will not accept - the continued absence of a commitment from state officials to address the plight of Philadelphia's schools. Philadelphia's state delegation has long fought for our schools, but this isn't about just us. As the state's greatest economic engine, the fates of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are linked.
May 13, 2013 |
Philadelphians were clearly tired of the Civil War in the days leading up to the invasion. They read regular newspaper accounts of Union setbacks and horrific battlefield losses while wounded soldiers filled their hospitals and fresh military units clogged the streets. To escape, some attended the stage adaptation of Uncle Tom's Cabin at the Continental Theatre; others took in the play Peep O'Day at the New Chestnut Street Theatre or caught a concert by Birgfeld's popular German military band in Fairmount Park.
May 10, 2013
Friday and Saturday on the Schyulkill When: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, rain or shine. Where: On the Schuylkill. Races start at the intersection of Kelly Drive and Hunting Park Avenue and end just before the Columbia Avenue Bridge. TV: Saturday's finals will air live on 6ABC, starting at 11 a.m., and will be streamed on ESPN3.com. Admission: Free. The grandstand at the finish line is the best place to watch. Parking: Park in remote lots in Fairmount Park.
May 10, 2013
By B.G. Kelley The Dad Vail Regatta, the biggest intercollegiate rowing event, summons images of sleek sculls oared with precision by finely chiseled athletes. It presents an aesthetic springtime tableau on the glimmering, sun-spilled Schuylkill. The regatta, which begins today, is part of the sports DNA here. I've been going to Dad Vail since 1968. But these days I don't watch the races as much as I do the Canada geese - those birds with black heads and necks and white patches on their faces that come from Peter's Island and beyond to the banks of the Schuylkill to feed on the grass, to play, or simply to rest peacefully.
May 4, 2013
A proposal to put a zip line in a five-acre section of Wissahickon Valley Park in Upper Roxborough sounds exciting. This creative way to help residents enjoy the city's wealth of parkland represents the kind of thinking many hoped to see when the city Recreation Department merged with the Fairmount Park Commission a few years ago. The idea is getting some well-reasoned opposition. Some neighbors worry about traffic and parking, as well as losing the quiet contemplation found within the piece of the park they frequent.
May 3, 2013 |
Temple University has withdrawn its proposal to build a new boathouse along the Schuylkill after concerns were raised that the university was not providing replacement parkland as required by a city ordinance. Kenneth Lawrence Jr., a senior vice president at Temple, wrote in a letter Tuesday to Nancy Goldenberg, chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission, that the university was "not in a position to make a commitment" without further study of its options. At a January hearing, Temple was criticized for proposing to give the city $1.5 million to repair the East Park Canoe House, the university's former rowing home, instead of offering substitute green space for the now-withdrawn boathouse site near the Strawberry Mansion Bridge.
April 20, 2013 |
It has worked well in other city parks, and some environmentalists say the benefits are likely to outweigh the costs. Nevertheless, the idea of a network of zip lines, ropes, and cables allowing visitors to explore the Fairmount Park treetops has fired up opponents, who are organizing to stop the city from considering it. Worried that it will damage vegetation, disrupt wildlife, and spoil the tranquillity of an urban oasis, residents formed the...
April 6, 2013 |
Bugs and blossoms - it must be spring! Flowers first: More than a decade ago Adelaide Ferguson, cofounder of the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, stood in Fairmount Park pouring sake on the roots of a cherry tree. In the event's early years, the two-day "festival" featured a black-tie fund-raising dinner followed by this ritual, centered on the 1,600 trees given to the City of Philadelphia by the Japanese government in 1926. As Ferguson and dozens of others splashed alcohol on the budding trees, she looked around and said to herself: "This needs to be a lot more fun. " So she and Kazumi Teune, then newly appointed executive director of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, got to work, and 11 years later the festival has grown into an extravaganza that attracts upward of 20,000 visitors each year.