July 14, 2016
By Mark Tyler As I joined thousands of leaders and members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church at our bicentennial celebration against the backdrop of a nation in turmoil, a question floated in the air: Is there no balm in Gilead? The question is a verse in the Bible raised by the prophet Jeremiah and is timely after the tragic events of last week. We are a nation in search of a healing. Alton Sterling, a father of five, was shot and killed in Baton Rouge, La., when he was approached by the police.
July 11, 2016
Todd A. Cox is the director of criminal justice policy at the Center for American Progress ( www.americanprogress.org ) Danyelle Solomon is the director of Progress 2050 at the center Multiple shots fired point-blank into a man outside a convenience store, pinned down on the ground by two officers. Multiple shots fired into a car pulled over for a broken taillight, while a 4-year-old child sits in the backseat. One day later, the country woke up to yet another devastating act of gun violence: the deplorable assassination of law enforcement officers in Dallas as Black Lives Matter protesters peacefully marched the streets against police violence.
July 9, 2016 |
Where other people see blemishes, Andrew Jevremovic tends to see potential. That goes for Pennsylvania maple that's gnarled and peppered with knots. The flaws make it more difficult to work with, but also more beautiful, said the sculptor and furniture-maker behind Octo Studio. Running a hand over a log that has been cut into thick slabs: "This maple, if it was sanded up, it's pretty mind-blowing stuff," he said. It's also true of the gritty stretch of Alter Street in Point Breeze where Jevremovic, 54, and his wife, River Algiers Trappler, 48, have lived since 2000.
July 8, 2016
CAMERON STERLING stood next to his mother in Baton Rouge, La., as she spoke of how police had killed his father. The new man of the house, 15 years old, tried to stand strong, but he did what any child would do. He wept. He buried his face in his shirt, and then in someone's chest, and he sobbed: "I want my Daddy. " I had returned from vacation ready to write a column about 16-year-old Asir Brown , gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Grays Ferry on July Fourth weekend. But then I turned to one of the televisions in the newsroom and watched the emotional news conference outside Baton Rouge city hall, and there he was: A young man broken in ways that he's only just beginning to realize.
July 2, 2016 |
Can you make a film that criticizes gun violence in America while also reveling in a relentless, gory orgy of gun violence, knife violence, chain-saw violence, and ax violence? That's the plight of the Purge franchise, an auteurish series of hyper-violent, dystopian thrillers from writer-director James DeMonaco ( The Negotiator , Skinwalkers ) now in its third installment with The Purge: Election Year . The premise and the basic story line are familiar: Set in the near future, the Purge movies concern an America where once a year, for 12 hours, citizens get to let off steam by committing any crime - including murder - without fear of prosecution.
June 24, 2016
ISSUE | GUN CONTROL Casey: Senate must take action On Monday, the U.S. Senate defaulted on its basic obligation to keep America safe by rejecting commonsense gun legislation to expand background checks for firearms purchases ("Gridlock on gun violence," Tuesday). Universal background checks and a ban of those on the terrorist watch list from buying guns represent the bare minimum steps the Senate should take to address gun violence. Some senators believe the only thing our nation can do to confront gun violence, which killed 33,646 Americans in 2014, is enforce existing law. I refuse to accept that.
June 24, 2016 |
THEY CAME alone to the Art Museum steps on Thursday, with the grief they wear like a second skin. They came with others who know their pain, a growing fellowship of grieving friends and relatives left behind after gun violence took a loved one. Some carried huge photos of young men, frozen in time. Mark Jones held a small photo that he still keeps in his wallet - of his 23-year-old son John Robert Jones, a SEPTA worker killed in 2005. And as often as they could, they said their names.
June 23, 2016 |
I CAN FEEL the moment slipping through our fingers, and I just can't have it. Not without at least pausing to acknowledge the relentless daily drip of gun violence in Philadelphia. So I have an idea - I'll get into that in a moment. For a little while, the world seemed to stop as we recoiled from the latest mass shooting. This time, in a popular gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12. We cried. We prayed. We yelled: Enough is enough! Something must be done! And then, a week after the deadliest mass shooting in modern history by a lone gunman, the Senate voted down four gun-policy measures.
June 22, 2016 |
With controversy over immigration, nativist tensions and gun violence dominating the news, the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's elegant production of West Side Story has a ripped-from-the-headlines feel. Instead of a border wall, set designer Steven TenEyck's chain-link fence represents the ethnic divides and misunderstandings that will lead to tragedy. There's more foreshadowing in the blood-red color of the tenements in which Tony and Maria, the show's contemporary Romeo and Juliet, pledge their undying love.