June 27, 2016 |
The word went out loudly when the votes were cast: Philadelphia's tax on sweetened drinks made history as the first of its kind enacted by a major U.S. city. But the vote also was extraordinary in a quieter way - a rare example of City Council navigating a contentious issue without Council President Darrell L. Clarke squarely behind the wheel. Instead, new Council members formed their own allegiances. Old members strengthened their bonds with outsiders and with Mayor Kenney. And Clarke, it seemed to many in City Hall, wound up in the backseat, voting for a tax he has always professed to hate after seeing it could pass without his support.
June 1, 2016
ISSUE | EDUCATION Lessen tenure's grip Tenure for teachers was created when a career in education was highly esteemed but poorly compensated ("Playing politics with teachers' seniority," May 24). Once considered an asset, it has become a millstone. Tenure has made it almost impossible to ferret out those no longer relevant to their profession. No business could succeed with an underperforming workforce. Seniority does not top efficiency. Deficient tenured teachers work to the detriment of their students.
May 24, 2016 |
On a cold March morning in Columbus, N.C., Sean Harrington sat shackled in an antebellum courthouse and saw through the window a mountain stretched out like a vast wall. The wind rattled bare trees there on White Oak Mountain and whipped up the falls on Horse Creek as it flowed south toward town. The sky above the Polk County Courthouse had been swept clean of clouds and Harrington's family filed past an American flag that thrashed atop a pole. The tallest thing Harrington, 26, had ever seen on Hancock Street, 600 miles away in South Philadelphia, was a telephone pole, and depending how his day in court went, he knew he might be an old man before he saw that skinny block by I-95 again.
April 26, 2016 |
I'VE BEEN PORING over the Eagles stories from early March, trying to find the place where Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson promised Sam Bradford he would be their quarterback forever, after signing him to a two-year, $35 million contract that everyone pointed out could really be a one-year contract, if 2016 didn't go well. Still haven't found those quotes. In fact, I'm pretty sure all of us who cover the team noted prominently that the structure and term of the deal in no way precluded the Eagles from drafting a franchise QB this coming Thursday.
February 23, 2016 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Between winter throwing sessions at his alma mater, Aaron Nola held a baseball in his right hand. He tinkered with different grips for his changeup as he paced the training facilities at Louisiana State University. The Phillies told Nola, their presumptive 22-year-old No. 1 pitcher, that if he were to do anything this winter, it was improve his change. "I played with several grips," Nola said. "One kind of fit me the best. One that I felt comfortable throwing. " This spring offers something of a luxury for Nola, a veteran of all of 13 major league starts.
November 22, 2015 |
Three weeks ago, Leonard Fournette had the Heisman Trophy in his grasp. The Louisiana State sophomore was a lock to win college football's most prestigious award, as much a certainty as Donald Trump saying something outrageous at his next campaign stop. But then, the season continued. After a first half that saw him rush for more than 200 yards in three consecutive games, Fournette has been unable to find the holes. He gained just 31 yards on 19 carries in the marquee Nov. 7 matchup against Alabama - a 30-14 loss - and managed 91 yards in last week's loss to Arkansas.
October 31, 2015 |
What is reality? For Ma and Jack, the mother and just-turned-5 son played with breathtaking might and magic by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, reality is a 10-by-10-foot shed, locked from the outside, a small roof window letting in a square of sky. In Room - written by Emma Donoghue, adapting her bestseller of the same name, and directed by Lenny Abrahamson - this is the place where parent and child live. She has been imprisoned for seven years. He has lived there since birth.
October 28, 2015 |
It was a funny thing to watch Margaret Atwood's classic (since 1985) novel The Handmaid's Tale , as adapted by Joseph Stollenwerk, on Curio Theatre's stage last week. After all, Texas just announced it would end Medicaid contracts to Planned Parenthood, then followed up by raiding the state's clinics. It was the same week a congressional panel of mostly white men grilled Hillary Clinton in a manner reminiscent of its previous interruptathon aimed at Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards.
October 6, 2015 |
Gypsy turns 60 in a few years, but the Media Theatre's current electrifying production proves that the old girl hasn't aged a bit. Arthur Laurents based his 1959 book for the musical on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, a world-famous mid-20th-century burlesque dancer, who grew up as Louise (Anna Giordano), the neglected older sister of June (Taylor Elise Rector), a child actor on the vaudeville circuit. Their domineering mother, Rose (Kristine Fraelich), sacrificed both girls' childhoods in pursuit of stardom, driving them and her agent/fiance Herbie (Kelly Briggs)
September 15, 2015
Heeding the pope's plea on aiding the poor Kudos to The Inquirer for reminding everyone that Pope Francis' visit must not become a public spectacle ("Pope wants to help the poor," Aug. 31). Indeed, this pope has made it his personal mission to alleviate the suffering of the poor, the hungry, the homeless and the marginalized. Given that Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate of any major city in the nation, this is an opportunity to highlight that unfortunate reality. For the last 30 years, my students at Germantown Academy have made it a priority to reach out to make a difference in the lives of those who are hungry and homeless in our city.