March 19, 2015 |
March brings Philadelphia those occasional gloriously sunny days that let winter survivors know it's safe to leave their bunkers because spring is coming. It's a good time to learn that a long-dreamed-of park atop the dormant Reading Railroad viaduct may be on track for construction this summer. A newly announced strategic investment by the William Penn and Knight Foundations, complementing public and other funding, will help make the park happen. Four other parks will also benefit from the $11 million the foundations plan to spend.
January 17, 2015 |
The first time that developer David Blumenfeld proposed an apartment house for the strip of land behind the Rodin Museum, he was practically laughed out of the Art Commission. His renderings showed a bland six-story building rising up like a wave behind the tiny classical temple, ready to swallow the Paul Cret masterpiece in its glassy maw. What a difference a few months can make. When Blumenfeld returned to the commission last week with a revised design for 2100 Hamilton by Barton Partners, he was somehow able to talk members into approving the concept.
November 24, 2014 |
THE LAST THING Dan Vassallo had on his running bucket list was to qualify for the United States Olympic Team Trials. In fact, throughout the duration of yesterday's Philadelphia Marathon, that's all that was on the 29-year-old Peabody, Mass., native's mind. That is until there was about a mile left to go and the gap between he and Birhanu Dare Kemal - an Ethiopian who lives in Manhattan - was starting to close. "I didn't think I was going to be able to catch him," Vassallo said.
November 23, 2014 |
Four years ago, Patricia Crebase went out to the Broad Street Run to cheer for a friend competing in the 10-mile race. "I got out on the route extra early, and I saw the wheelchair athletes go by," she said. "I just had that moment of, well, it's put up or shut up. " Crebase, an underwriter from Philadelphia, will be competing in the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday. It is her first full marathon. Crebase, 43, has MS, which was diagnosed in 1995, and she has been in a wheelchair for 10 years.
November 21, 2014 |
WHO'S SURPRISED that Jeffrey Cujdik got his job back? Not me. Depressed? Totally. Disgusted? God, yes. But surprised? Please - this is Philly, where enough cops who disgrace the Philadelphia Police Department, no matter how badly, somehow manage to successfully appeal their firing before arbitrators unable (or unwilling) to see wrongs that, I swear, would make Stevie Wonder's eyes pop. At least Cujdik, investigated by police Internal Affairs for falsifying search warrants and crossing the line with an informant, won't be getting back pay for the time he has missed since he was canned in May. So the city - already out $1.7 million to settle 33 lawsuits resulting from raids by Cujdik and his rogue narcotics squad - won't be cutting another miserable check.
November 21, 2014
ISSUE | SCHOOLS Seeking the middle As a parent of two children in Cheltenham schools, I share the concerns expressed about Superintendent Natalie Thomas, but I am more disturbed by the depiction of our schools ("Storm over Cheltenham schools chief," Nov. 16). Cheltenham reflects the two public education systems in this country: one that excels, another that struggles. According to the state's performance profile, Cheltenham compares favorably to nearby districts. Students graduate at similar rates, excel on Advanced Placement exams, and do well on the SATs.
November 1, 2014 |
It's not a myth; they do exist. Catch the Mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs at Adventure Aquarium Saturday through Nov. 9. Watch the graceful mermaids perform underwater routines and feats among the aquarium's inhabitants including stingrays, turtles, sharks, and other creatures. Guests can meet the mermaids and get a photo keepsake. The Mermaids of Weeki Wachee Florida have been performing for 67 years doing aquatic performances, acrobatics, and cool tricks including drinking and eating underwater.
October 3, 2014 |
THE $18 MILLION Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk opens today, so Philadelphians and their leashed dogs can "walk on water" from Locust Street to the South Street Bridge. Bike on water, too. Built out into the river parallel to the east bank, the 2,000-foot boardwalk experience is a heady mix of ducks and trucks, trees and breeze, cityscape and landscape, roadway and waterway, industrial and pastoral, trains and turtles, big sky and big city. Strolling along the city's newest people magnet yesterday, Joseph Syrnick, president/CEO of the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, who has spent eight years guiding the project from drawing board to boardwalk, talked about the romance of the river.
September 5, 2014 |
NANYA AMIR EL had to fend off people who wanted to buy the bracelets he was wearing right off his arms. No wonder. They are spectacular pieces of jewelry wrought by his father, Albert H. Sapp. But the jewelry, as coveted as it was, represented only one of the many accomplishments of Nanya's father. He was also a talented baker, whose products were in demand throughout the city; a musician who wrote songs of social significance; an author whose self-published books taught life lessons; a healer who used only natural products for hair, skin and digestive health; and a fisherman who plied the local streams and lakes and the ocean for dinner.