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January 31, 2014 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
A scenic ribbon of green was created along the Cooper River in 2000 to improve the view for travelers heading to the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. The lush expanse of meadows and woods supplanted the strip of go-go bars, gas stations, and rooms-by-the-hour motels on the Admiral Wilson Boulevard's south side. Built by the Delaware River Port Authority 13 years ago with breathtaking speed (then-Gov. Christie Whitman saw to that), this lovely place is still fenced in, blocked off, and locked up. But thanks mainly to the good work of grassroots groups, nonprofit organizations, and the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, the barriers may come down soon.
NEWS
January 30, 2014 | BY VALERIE RUSS, Daily News Staff Writer russv@phillynews.com, 215-854-5987
THE HEARING for Bart Blatstein's Provence Casino and Hotel started out routinely enough: tedious testimony on traffic studies, parking and public-transit ridership. At one point, a Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board commissioner asked: "Just how likely is someone going to get on a bus with a lot of money to go to a casino?" And then, it was precisely that issue at yesterday's meeting - the reliability of traffic studies that Blatstein's Tower Entertainment submitted in its application for the city's remaining casino license - that led to a rabbit being pulled out of a hat. Larry Spector, the lawyer representing Congregation Rodeph Shalom and two schools that don't want the casino in the area, pulled out the rabbit - a stuffed rabbit - to imply that that's how Tower got the numbers it used.
NEWS
January 25, 2014 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ten education advocacy groups have formed a coalition to push for more funds for early education in Pennsylvania, which currently helps less than 20 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds access high-quality programs, according to Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC). The coalition wants to "elevate the discussion about high-quality pre-K and how to make it more accessible to kids," said Mike Race, a PPC spokesman. In the spring, it plans to release a report on models for pre-K funding that have been successful in other states, he said.
NEWS
January 25, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The U.S. Attorney's Office has issued subpoenas to Gov. Christie's reelection campaign and the New Jersey Republican State Committee as part of its review of September lane closures at the foot of the George Washington Bridge, an attorney for the two organizations said Thursday. A legislative committee issued subpoenas to the campaign - and to 19 other individuals and organizations - last week as part of the lawmakers' own inquiry into the matter. Federal prosecutors have also issued subpoenas to some of those same individuals and groups, the New York Times reported.
NEWS
January 25, 2014 | By Jennifer Lin, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA A coalition of neighborhood groups operating near the proposed Provence casino project on North Broad Street has signed a pact with developer Bart Blatstein that spells out his commitments, improvement plans, and financial contributions to the community. The North Broad Community Coalition, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, West Poplar Community Development Corp., and Callowhill Neighborhood Association, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints signed the agreement Thursday.
NEWS
January 25, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association on Thursday became the first medical professional group in the commonwealth to publicly support a bill legalizing medical marijuana. The group, representing more than 212,000 registered nurses in Pennsylvania, said it was backing Senate Bill 1182, which would protect patients who want to use medicinal marijuana and the health-care professionals who recommend it, from prosecution. "We have been hearing a lot from our patients and their families about it, especially from those with seizure disorders, where traditional medical treatments are not effective," said Betsy Snook, the association's CEO and a nurse.
NEWS
January 23, 2014 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
EACH OF Pennsylvania's 26 state prisons is mandated by law to employ a librarian with a master's degree and to have a large collection of books and periodicals. But no state law requires the same for public schools. "I think it's backward," said David Florig, executive director of the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children, a nonprofit promoting childhood literacy in West Philly. "Early reading is key to success in school and staying on track. " Only 11 of 212 schools in the Philadelphia School District have libraries.
NEWS
January 22, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
WELL, A PAPER BAG full of dollar bills was better than nothing. That was the payment the female Philly singing group The Sweet Delights got for a gig in New Jersey. Even though the group packed the club, the manager said he couldn't pay the women because he didn't make much money. However, he must have thought better of his decision, because he later produced the bag of bills. Gerylane Edgehill, who organized and sang with what by then was a three-woman soul and R&B group from North Philly, told that story to writer Charlie Horner for an article in Echoes of the Past.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 21, 2014
THE GUYS from Hip Hop Fundamentals don't look like the performers who used to show up at my school assemblies. They arrive in fly Kangol bucket-style hats and mock turtlenecks. On their feet, they rock Adidas Gazelle sneakers or Clyde Frazier basketball shoes, by Puma. And if I say they dance their butts off, I'm not exagerating. Trust me. These dudes can pop lock, head spin and floor rock with the best bboys around. Watching them perform on YouTube videos, I couldn't help but wonder why they aren't big stars doing their thing on VH1 or Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" instead of leading school assemblies.
NEWS
January 20, 2014 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
Susan Gross wasn't ready to be a widow. Her husband, Alan, had been sick for a decade with diabetes and complicated back problems, but he wasn't dying. Nobody ever said he was dying. And then one day he was gone, and she was alone, trying at age 60 to make sense of a new and unanticipated life. "It's overwhelming, making decisions, and [figuring out] finances, and you just want to be left alone," Gross said in an interview. Today, 11 years after her husband's death, she's sharing her hard-earned wisdom with new widows, organizing the Philadelphia chapter of a growing volunteer association called W Connection.
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