May 15, 2016 |
T he Ballad of Trayvon Martin is a world premiere celebrating New Freedom Theatre's soon-to-be 50th anniversary in the beautiful Edwin Forrest mansion on North Broad Street. This docu-drama, by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj (who also directs and choreographs) and Thomas J. Soto, is about the 2012 murder of an African American teenager Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Martin, was later acquitted in Florida. The Black Lives Matter movement sprang from these dire events.
May 5, 2016
ISSUE | LIBERATION A universal right The commentary "A liberation story for the whole world to share" (April 28) described a seder in Crimea and urged the world to share the liberation story. That story, which is the focus of Passover, is a powerful chronicle, and sharing it in a meaningful way means believing the lesson of the story. That lesson is that liberation from oppression is a universal right. To give life to this belief, it is the obligation of those who share it to advocate liberation from oppression for all people and to act within their capability to fulfill this right for all people.
April 17, 2016 |
Freedom Mortgage Corp., of Mount Laurel, agreed to pay $113 million to settle allegations that from 2006 through 2011 it certified hundreds of mortgages for Federal Housing Administration insurance that did not qualify, Paul J. Fishman, the U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, said Friday. Mortgage companies authorized to certify home loans for the federal loan insurance - designed for borrowers who cannot afford a large down payment - are required to monitor loans for defaults within the first six months.
April 16, 2016
By Andy Koenig When are you done paying your taxes? No, the answer isn't April 18 - taxes are just due on that day. Pennsylvanians finish paying them on April 22, and New Jerseyans finish on May 12. That's when you finally earn enough to pay what you'll owe for 2016. Put another way: You work well over 100 days this year before you actually start to see your hard-earned money. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation calls this "Tax Freedom Day," although you probably won't feel like celebrating when you consider that you're likely spending more on taxes than on food, clothing, and housing combined.
April 12, 2016
ISSUE | DISCRIMINATION Law of oppression, not freedom The Christian values of tolerance, mercy, and charity died in Mississippi Tuesday with Gov. Phil Bryant's signing of an antigay religious freedom bill ("Mississippi gov. signs law allowing service denial to gays," Philly.com, Tuesday). How long before similar laws allow people to not provide services or do business with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, or Jews and allow employers to fire such individuals or refuse them employment?
April 10, 2016 |
University scholars who work under threat in countries that suppress academic freedom will be offered "safe haven" through a new endowment established in honor of Beau Biden, late son of the vice president. The $1 million gift, from an anonymous donor, will pay for one scholar each year to move to an American university and work free from danger. The Institute of International Education announced the gift Friday afternoon at a news conference at the University of Delaware's campus in Wilmington.
April 2, 2016
ISSUE | CRIMINAL JUSTICE Worthy of release Since the Supreme Court's decision banning automatic life-without-parole sentences for juveniles, the Inquirer has profiled several affected inmates. Earl Rice Jr.'s story is only one that demonstrates how some men have used their time in prison to reform their lives ("After 43 years, hoping for a second chance," Monday). Rice's accomplishments are impressive: earning a diploma, training as a plumber and a butcher, volunteering to help young people, and serving as a positive influence on his children and grandchildren.
March 29, 2016 |
AT AGE 60, Earl Rice Jr. is living for the future. "I train myself to get up at 4 every morning," he said, "just so when I go home, I'll be up before the sun rises and ready to go. " Rice has served 43 years toward a life sentence at Graterford state prison for a purse-snatching gone wrong at age 17. Now, for the first time, he has a chance at release. "There's a lot of people I want to spend time with and things I want to do," said Rice, now a great-grandfather. There's a trip to Disney World with his daughter that's decades overdue.
March 28, 2016
Numerous organizations and individuals supported the Underground Railroad. The daring escape of Henry "Box" Brown relied on the help of an unlikely ally: the mail. Born in the early 1800s at a plantation near Yanceyville, Va., Brown was sent to Richmond at age 15 to work on a tobacco farm. He married Nancy, a slave owned by a different master, and the couple had three children and were expecting their fourth when Nancy was sent to work in North Carolina. Brown stood powerless as his pregnant wife and children shuffled past in a coffle gang.