May 25, 2009 |
The opening of the original Philadelphia Zoo bird house in 1916 was bracketed by two significant extinctions. Two years earlier, in 1914, the last known passenger pigeon, a female named Martha, died at the Cincinnati Zoo. Two years after the opening, in 1918, the last Carolina parakeet died - oddly enough, in the same place. Now, as the Philadelphia Zoo prepares for Saturday's opening of its new McNeil Avian Center, a $17.5 million reinvention of the original facility, vice president Andy Baker hopes the story will have a happier ending for at least two species in its care: the Guam rail and the Micronesian kingfisher.
May 19, 2009 |
A new survey paints a bleak economic picture of the region's nonprofit sector, with many organizations reporting funding shortfalls, layoffs, and reductions in programs. Forty percent reported running a budget deficit this year, according to the Nonprofit Center at La Salle University's School of Business, which conducted the online survey of 185 area nonprofits this month. That is double the number that ran a deficit last year, according to the survey. At the same time, the survey found that nearly seven out of 10 nonprofits reported an increase in demand for their services.
April 17, 2009 |
The construction crew at 822 Cherry St. in Norristown was, to say the least, a bit unconventional. Eighteen-year-old Megan Donnelly, in yellow sneakers and blue nail polish, was gingerly hammering braces between floor beams. Helping her Wednesday was John Canty, a 61-year-old respiratory therapist from Temple Hospital who cited as his job qualifications homeownership and 39 years of marriage. A floor above, high school senior Geliece Douglas was worrying she might dirty her new footwear, so she worked in her green-and-black-striped socks.
February 20, 2009 |
Bernice Shelton James, 69, of Woodbury, a former refinery worker, died of cancer Jan. 20 at home. Mrs. James grew up in South Philadelphia and attended Philadelphia High School for Girls. For several years, she took classes at Gloucester County College. In 1973, finding herself a single parent of seven children after the departure of her husband, her daughter Jacqualynn said, Mrs. James went to work at the DuPont Chambers Works plant in Deepwater, N.J. In 1981, she began working at Texaco's Eagle Point refinery in West Deptford.
December 30, 2008 |
At precisely 10 p.m. Saturday at the American Philosophical Association's sprawling conference in the Philadelphia Marriott - the annual mass gathering of those who practice the world's oldest non-conclusive profession - a philosophical point was made. Evondra Acevedo, the academic group's employment coordinator, had announced that the "Candidates' Room," where graduate students and others apply for teaching jobs, was closed for the night. She'd been going since 3 p.m. A sign announced that the room would close at 10 p.m. She asked the 11 candidates still seeking service to come back in the morning.
May 18, 2008 |
Last week, a corner of Studio Park, QVC's sprawling corporate headquarters in West Chester, was converted from broadcast set to home-frame factory. About 350 QVC employees - many of them with little or no experience swinging a hammer - participated in Habitat for Humanity of Chester County's Blitz Build, banging out the framework for houses in West Chester. The expo space is a long, open room reminiscent of a warehouse, or an airport hangar. Banks of lights, for when the building is used for broadcast, line the ceiling.
May 7, 2008 |
The Delaware River, which flows for hundreds of miles through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, is home to many fish and wildlife species. American shad, for example, travel hundreds of miles each spring from the Atlantic Ocean up the Delaware River, where they spawn. The river remains one of the only East Coast river ecosystems that boast a healthy, self-sustaining shad population. For decades, there have been many fights to improve the way the Delaware River is managed and how water is released from New York State reservoirs that provide drinking water to New York City's five million residents.
August 22, 2007 |
Michele Batt wanted to meet new people, so she became a volunteer for Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity. In the end, she found much more than a new circle of friends. Batt found a house - and even helped build it. Now she's helping build the rest of her neighborhood. "It's been the best thing that's ever happened to me," said Batt, who moved into her Clayton home in May with her 11-year-old son, Brandon. Batt is one of the first residents to occupy a 12-home subdivision being built by volunteers from Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity.
August 5, 2007 |
Standing in the midday heat, Alexis Jeffcoat got right to the point. "It is too hot to exist right now," said Jeffcoat, 22, a volunteer coordinator for a Habitat for Humanity project yesterday in the Parkside section of West Philadelphia. While many folks spent the last few days staying as cool as possible, about 50 volunteers from the ACE Group and GMAC cut boards and pounded nails under a blazing sun as part of the project at 42d and Stiles Streets. Jeffcoat encouraged the volunteers to drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks in the shade as they worked on putting plywood down on the first-floor beams.
July 2, 2007 |
Lounging on the hammock by her backyard woodpile, Jennifer Reynolds suddenly became aware of something behind her left knee. "I did not feel the moment I got bitten," she recalls. That was a Saturday. By Monday, people were commenting on her leg. By Tuesday, a hideous boil emerged. At nearby Riddle Memorial Hospital's emergency room, two of the three doctors who examined her were convinced that this was the work of the notorious brown recluse spider. The previous week, the doctors told her, they'd cut out a piece of a patient's chest to prevent a similar wound from degenerating.